Tele-Talk Responses: What questions or concerns should the planning board be raising when it reviews the proposed Walmart expansion?
Published DateThere were 24 responses to this week's Tele-Talk question: "What questions or concerns should the planning board be raising when it reviews the proposed Walmart expansion?"
Let's be serious here. This planning board does not care about North Conway, Conway or any of the surrounding area. All they do, every time one of these projects come in, is they get a little kickback and they just push it right through and they don't have a care about anybody here in the Mount Washington Valley. It's about the almighty dollar. They should have stepped up to the plate years ago. The Valley's destroyed, so why stop now?
We need a new Super Walmart. I've got eight kids. It would give a way to buy potatoes and meat a little bit cheaper. I'm hoping Obama gets elected again. Because he's giving me a lot of money right now. He showed me the best way to live in the United States and don't work. The government will take care of you. Keep on giving me money Obama. I haven't never worked; ain't going to work now.
I have a question that the planning board should ask about a Walmart expansion: Why do we need a Walmart expansion? We don't need it. And that's what you should be asking — why do they think we need an expansion when we don't.
I was just wondering if Walmart and the Market Basket and these future carpet bag corporations are going to help fund the new parking garage that we're going to need to sustain all the people that are going to be flocking to the area after the town gets through ruining the town. Possibly Fandangles could be a good location for a 20-story parking garage.
There are enough food stores in this town. Why does Walmart need an expansion so they could put up more food? I don't think that's a good idea. We're making everybody so competitive in the end, somebody's going to leave town, and it isn't going to be Walmart. I'm sure somebody else will leave. If they want an expansion, fine, but it shouldn't be for food.
I'm just wondering where the parking lot that they're going to put up for all the homeless people will be. Because remember Walmart takes away the local jobs and local businesses' money. So are they going to have a parking lot for a, their employees because their paid so low. Most people get some kind of benefits on the side, because they can't afford to feed their family or insure their family. So I'm just wondering where the less than desirable people — Conway doesn't admit we have a homeless problem. Ha ha, we do — Where are they exactly going to park? Way, way in the back? Back of the bus guys. Just think about this long and hard. This is Diane from Conway.
This is Peg in North Conway. Please stop paving the whole area. Another big box store, another huge parking lot. We don't need a superstore here. We have enough places for people to go to get clothes and everything else they need. Cut the big box stores out.
I live on Mechanic Street and I think that it's an absolute absurdity to have Walmart expand. It's already a blight on the town as small as it is, and unnecessary to expand it further. I hope the town smartens up and starts banking on why everyone came here for the first reason,which was how nice it is and beautiful and clean and green. So, keep it green.
I believe that it evolves around safety issues. Are we metropolizing North Conway and what happened to a scenic area? Have we thought about that yet? We are metropolizing with too much expansion and what is going on? Our roads are already very well taken care of by the DOT. We need another roundabout? Safety once again. And what happened to our scenic area. Is this becoming a city? I'm calling from Albany.
Usually these Super Walmart stores have a restaurant inside, where customers can sit and eat. I hope it's not another Dunkin Donuts, McDonalds or Subway. We already have them here, as well as pizza joints. How about a different concession that has healthy food, like Boston Market, Calestoga or Panera Bread. Also I hope their expansion doesn't hurt the future bypass plans. I'm not too happy about Walmart's expansion here. It will just squeeze out more businesses in North Conway. Their motto is cheapness over quality. I'd rather have a Whole Foods market next door to Walmart. At least Market Basket, known for its value and quality, is moving here. Though I wish it was located in a highly visible location, instead of behind T.J. Maxx, where it will be hidden. Diane, Intervale.
Please tell them that when they build their parking lot to leave up all the tall trees, as many as they can, and plant as many trees as they can, so in the hot summer we can park our vehicles under the shade of these trees. Also remind them that it would be nice at the entrance place that they erect a good eight-foot statue of President Obama to remind the unwashed that he has allowed us to shop at Walmart. Also in the food section — I believe they are building a large supermarket area — they should have a set-aside spot for all the foods Michelle Obama wants the unwashed to consume. This way we won't be tempted by going looking elsewhere and all this must-eat food will be in one specific area. Also I would like that they should have an auto department that offers oil changes for our car. And finally I would hope they would enlarge the fiction section of the book department, so that they they will be able to offer all of the messiah's books. And in conclusion, I believe that they should build a special entrance/exit for those members of the community whose approval was needed to allow this to go forward. This is the least Walmart could do to thank the town fathers, specifically those who approve this project, that they have their own entrance and exit and do not have to mingle with the unwashed. And cheaper prices.
Will Walmart sell any products made in the U.S.A.? This is Ralph in Eaton.
The following Tele-Talk responses were posted on The Conway Daily Sun's Facebook page:
How many more businesses that make Conway what it is/was will close to big corporation businesses like Walmart!
Why are we encouraging so much competition between supermarkets. Where's the competition for Walmart? Rather than bringing in another competitor to (kinda local) Hannaford, why not bring in Target to compete with Walmart?
Target or perhaps a B.J.'s?
What support will they give to affordable housing so their low-wage employees can afford to live here? What support will they give to our school system to pay to educate the children of the low-wage employees they attract here, whose property taxes are never as much as the cost of supporting the population growth? What (beyond property taxes) will they contribute to our police budget, since the increase in property taxes never covers the cost of the increase in support services? Do they have any ideas what we should do with the empty storefront(s) to be created when other stores close?
Prediction: By 2015, Walmart will have expanded all the way to Artist Falls Road. The draining of Puddin Pond will be justified by their creation of 200 more unskilled, low-paying jobs that are perfect for keeping many locals trapped in economic misery. Yay Walmart!
I suggest that the planning board follow the planning regulations to the letter. If it can't be done according to our regulations, then they need to act accordingly and not approve the plans, and if Walmart meets ALL regulations, then we should insist on an appearance that fits this region as best possible. If people don't want a 150,000-square-foot store, they should have passed a regulation limiting the size of commercial buildings. The only way to keep this from being built, if they meet all the regulations, is to have people stop shopping at the store, enough so that they can't justify the expansion. And how realistic is that? Have to wonder who will survive if we have four supermarkets and two large groceries along the commercial corridor.
I think the key to stopping the out-of-control spread of new store construction is to change the regulations. We can pass a regulation limiting the size of commercial buildings. How about a regulation that only allows new construction in the Route 16 corridor when no more than a specified percentage of store space is vacant? That would force businesses to locate in some of those empty strip malls, instead of buying up green space and putting down parking lots. In these cases we could allow new construction only if it replaces the old. Drive down Route 16 and count the numbers of empty storefronts. It is beginning to look like a ghost town. How about forming a committee in town that looks at the possibilities of changing the regulations? We all know we need to do something. As far as Walmart goes, the only thing the planning board can do is to follow the regs and not give any waivers or exceptions. They do not have the authority to change the regulations or make new rules. Lets all get together and do something to preserve the quality of this town before its too late!
I like following the regulations but it seems to me to be a lot of wink, wink nod nod when it comes down to regulations being followed.
Serving on the planning board is an elected position. Call them up if you don't think they're doing their job. They meet two Thursdays a month in the evenings, so you can also attend the public hearings.
The key to making things better is not to focus in on one project but to look at town planning as a whole. The regulations the planning board have are OK but they could be improved to reflect the current thinking of the people. Perhaps it is time to review the master plan. The people can make a difference, they just need to be involved. An update of the master plan would be a start but only if done by professionals, not a committee of residents.
Traffic flow. The exit to Walmart now is dangerous. It needs to work better so you don't get hit while turning in or leaving or while in the parking lot. I've almost been t-boned way too many times while trying to turn in or just past the sign because people think stop signs and right of way don't pertain to them. Right now I call it suicide corner it's so bad when traffic is heavy.
I am one of the many residents happy to see a Market Basket in our near future and I have been to a Super Walmart — cheaper doesn't always mean better. I don't agree with the expansion plans nor their employment practices. This valley needs to attract industry, possibly to take up some of the vacant space with a call center or a community college. Enough retail already.