If you lived in the village of Liverpool, New York, you could drive five miles to the town of Camillus and shop at the Wal-Mart supercenter there on West Genesee Street. Or six miles away there’s another supercenter in Cicero, New York on Brewerton Road. There are a total of 7 Wal-Mart stores — including 4 superstores — within 20 miles of Liverpool. So if you’re addicted to cheap, Chinese imports, they are everywhere within a few minutes drive. Liverpool describes itself as “a delightful community on the north shore of Onondaga Lake with unique shops, spectacular restaurants, lovely lakeshore trails, and warm village folk.” Given the fact that Liverpool village only has a population of around 2,600 people, you can see why no one locally was miserable when they found out this week that Wal-Mart has scrapped plans to build a supercenter in the village. According to News10 Now, this quietly ends four years of battling over the inappropriately scaled project. “The village cannot handle the traffic flow of a Wal-Mart especially during their peak holiday times,” said Dr. Laura Harrington, a Liverpool resident who fought Wal-Mart from the day she heard a superstore was planned. Because of its plan to moderate growth for the next couple of years, villages like Liverpool are being spared. This marks the 56th store to bite the dust since Sprawl-Busters began tracking superstore implosions in June, 2007. Dr. Harrington told the TV station that now the village needs to begin planning for its future land use. “The biggest thing I hope is that the town board actually reconsiders the zoning and gets it so that it’s something more appealing,” she said.
The Liverpool trade area is clearly over-supplied with Wal-Marts. With four supercenters within a short drive — even with high gas prices — not every wide spot in the road needs a superstore. “To put such a superstore in an area that is so close to such a beautiful village, it would have just taken away from it,” one resident told New 10. Liverpool residents had complained that this superstore was clearly in the wrong place. Residents placed a large yellow sign near the site which read: “Wrong Site For Store Of This Size.” Apparently Wal-Mart has come to agree with that statement. Readers are urged to email Mayor Marlene Ward and the village board in Liverpool at: [email protected] with this message: “Dear Mayor Ward and Trustees: Your Village’s Vision Statement talks about preserving and enhancing ‘the positive aspects of small community life.’ Your village speaks of a ‘small, beautiful community where local control of destiny, independence and individual contributions are valued.’ Now that Wal-Mart has left you at the altar, perhaps its time to refocus on your Vision statement, and realize that a huge suburban superstore is neither small, nor beautiful, and leaves your village with no local control over its destiny. By amending your zoning code to put a cap of 75,000 s.f. on the size of retail stores, you can regain local control. Liverpool is already flooded with superstores nearby. Make the developers fit into your vision, not the other way around.”