Wednesday, September 5, 2007

SPRAWL ALERT!

SPRAWL ALERT! Jenny Coco is on the loose again! Note in the article that "Windsor’s Environmental Planning Committee approved the plan". I am assuming the author was talking about the Windsor Essex County Environment Committee (WECEC). Talk about the masters of Smart Growth!

This from the September Biz X magazine;

Windsor City Council will soon consider a controversial rezoning application from Jenny Coco for a major big box complex on the far west side, next to her Ambassador Golf Course. The shopping centre, reportedly equivalent to Birch Run in Frankenmuth, MI, would include 400,000 square feet of big box retail, including two 100,000 square foot buildings. The project is slated for 47.5 acres of land at the corner of Sprucewood and Matchette. LaSalle Council has stated its opposition on the grounds that it will compete adversely with its Malden Town Centre retail outlets. Windsor’s Environmental Planning Committee approved the plan on conditions that a buffer is provided to protect the nearby Prairie Grass Reserve and that parking lots are constructed with permeable surfaces. The city’s nine business improvement areas have yet to weigh in on the impact to core retail districts.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't this proposal do more to gut LaSalle's retail district than hurt anywhere else? I can't see it doing much damage to Windsor proper - it IS out in the middle of butt-fuck nowhere.

andrew said...

"The city’s nine business improvement areas have yet to weigh in on the impact to core retail districts"

We still have retail districts?

I guess we do... The Devonsihre Mall district, the Walker Rd Sprawl District, The Lauzon Road Sprawl District... etc...

I couldn't think of any better use for 50 acres of land.

John C said...

Great - more big box stores to further our march eastward; strain infrastructure and city budgets.

It's bad enough I have to travel to Walker/Provincial for some things; then to Devonshire Mall for others; and then to downtown for others.

It will be interesting to see if council has truly embraced "new urbanism" that they like to tout.

Kevin said...

What do you have to travel downtown to get? I live downtown and there isn't much in the way of retail, unless you are patronizing the massage parlors.

Topher Holt said...

Kevin - your lack of choice in downtown retail is because of planning choices made by this city over the last several decades. They chose to concentrate retail on Howard ave and E.C. Row, and our local merchants suffered. They then chose to widen and pave the routes getting out there, and houses popped up all over the place. The same with the Legacy Park development at Walker and Provincial. They enabled and zoned for that category-killing "big box" experience out there where pedestrians and buses fear to tread, and that put another stake through the heart of independant retail.

Now, our choices downtown (and on Ottawa Street, Wyandotte, etc.) are severely limited. This proposed Coco development is yet another stake through the hearts of our favorite Mom-And-Pop shop, as they cannot compete with the buying power of these giants. Unfortunately, we all start paying more as the infrastructure that leads out there to the middle of nowhere needs more upgrading and maintaining.

If this goes through, just watch how bad the expressway will be!

Vincent Clement said...

Ah, the mythology of the 'mom and pop shop'.

You mean the mom and pop shops that use their children as free labour? You mean the mom and pop shops that pay their employees minimum wage and offer no benefits beyond what is required? You mean the mom and pop shops that charge outrageous prices for 'convenience'? Naturally, I assume that Wal-Mart is too blame for their demise.

Chris Holt said...

Vincent - I think you've got the whole "mom-and pop" idea mixed up with Wal-Mart, because everything you've said about these so-called mom and pop shops are documented writ-large against Wal-Mart. This is the Wal-mart inspired "race to the bottom". Not very pretty, is it?

However, who am I to tell you that you can't shop at Wal-Mart if their business practices and human rights abuses don't bother you.

The reasons I don't shop at Wal-Mart are numerous. I don't care for the effect Wal-Mart (and any of the current big-box retailers, to be honest) has on our built environment. Their need to build on greenfields on the periphery of town mean the municipality must provide increased infrastructure, emergency services, utilities, etc. to service them. All taxpayers subsidize this whether they shop there or not. They ultimately cost the municipality more in the long run because of these additional costs. This is all very thoroughly documented, Vincent. Just Google Wal-Mart and see what pops up.

I like the fact that the money I use to purchase my goods stay in the local economy. I like the fact that the owners of those "Mom-And Pop" shops send their children to the same public school as I do, play on the same soccer team as I do, pay Windsor taxes like I do and have the same desire to see Windsor flourish like I do. I don't really think the Bentonville Walton's really give a damn about Windsor, do you?

So, I can't tell you where to shop. If you really need that $0.69 underwear, who am I to stop you. One thing that I will do is continue to try and influence my municipal decision makers to avoid enabling predatory business from taking advantage of my community, negatively effecting my quality of life.

Anonymous said...

I missed the decisoin from council this week. Did this thing pass? who voted in favour/against?

Anonymous said...

The decision by council to rezone the subject property isn't scheduled to be made until Oct 15. So, you still have time to get your deliberation set up :)

Vincent Clement said...

That is one of the best rants I've heard in a long time Chris.

So none of the employees at Wal-Mart send their kids to local schools? None of the Wal-Mart employees spend their money locally? None of the Wal-Mart employees live in Windsor, own a house and pay property taxes.

I find it amusing that you have an issue with the taxpayer supposedly subsidizing Wal-Mart (technically the taxpayers subsidizes everyone), but have no problem with the taxpayer subsidizing public transit, downtown commercial, downtown college campuses, etc.

Oh wait, I forgot, those are things that YOU want but need others to pay for to viable. What if I don't agree with what YOU want? Who made you king of the castle?