bedfordwatch.com

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JUST THE FACTS

WHAT DOES WAL MART NEED? 
According to the book How Wal Mart Is Destroying America,” there are only three things that Wal Mart needs to destroy small towns, “zoning, zoning and zoning.”  Take 10 seconds and click here to read just one page of this book.

TAX BENEFITS TO BEDFORD TOWNSHIP:
Bedford Township would receive a little more than $27,300 in yearly tax benefits and $4,000 for the police department.  Read the Bedford Now article from Sherri Meyer, Bedford Township Treasurer (734-847-6791). 

LAWSUIT:
In February 2007, Jon Whitman lost a lawsuit in Monroe County Circuit Court against Bedford Township.  Mr. Whitman paid thousands of dollars out of his own pocket for court costs and lawyers fees.

Highlights of the lawsuit:

The Indian Acres subdivision was well established before the construction of the Whitman automobile dealership. Judge Costello wrote,  "Since the very beginning the western-most portion of the property was zoned residential. The township has remained consistent in maintaining this classification."

David Landry, the lawyer representing Bedford Township said, "You are talking about the development of large-scale retail right next door, literally, to a longstanding subdivision."

Julie Johnston, a planning consultant for Wade-Trim and Associates testified that a big-box store would have a “major impact on the neighborhood.”  She further indicated that it would be difficult to screen or buffer the store from the surrounding properties.

In a previous engineering and survey study from the 2007 trial that was requested and paid for by the Bedford Township Board, Wade Trim and Associates Inc. reported, “The area surrounding the Whitman property is predominately residential, not commercial. The rezoning is incompatible with adjacent residential uses.” 

Mr. Lennex, the real estate agent selling the commercial property, acknowledged that he would have earned a sale commission of $225,000 for the sale of the Whitman property to Wal-Mart.

Steve Lennex stated in the trial that Jon Whitman sought “big-box clients” for the Lewis- Sterns property and Jon Whitman “wanted it.”  

MASTER PLAN:
The  Bedford Township Master Plan map clearly designates the portion fronting Lewis Ave. to be local commercial.  This designation is clearly defined by the plan as "retail and service establishments that are 5,000 square feet or less" and are established to meet the day-to-day needs of the neighborhood market area rather than expanding to service a regional market area.

Bedford Township’s Master Plan  also "recognizes the city of Toledo, Ohio as a business center serving both the local customer population and sub regional market base. This plan also encourages commercial development to locations where compact and coordinated development can occur without impacting residential land uses." 

PROPERTY TAXES:
If a big box store were built in Bedford Township, all of the property owners in the township (Temperance, Lambertville and Samaria) will have to pay more in property taxes to hire more police officers and increase the size of the fire department.

MONROE MICHIGAN WAL-MART TRAFFIC FACTS:
According to the Michigan Department of Transportation - there are about 22,200 cars and 570 trucks which equal 22,770 cars and trucks that travel up and down Telegraph Road in Monroe, Michigan near the old Wal-Mart on a daily basis.  That equals 159,390 cars and trucks weekly.  These are 2008 figures (the latest available), when that store was only 125,000 square feet.   Click here to view the document.  To see the exact figures from MDOT, click here.

The new Super Wal-Mart on Telegraph Road in Monroe, Michigan is over 176,000 square feet (over 40 percent bigger than the old Wal-Mart).   The traffic report from MDOT for the new Super Wal Mart will not be available until mid 2011.  

The proposed Wal-Mart in Bedford Township was over 200,000 square feet, which is over 63% larger than the car and truck statistics above for the 125,000 square foot Wal-Mart store.

Where will the additional 159,390 cars and trucks come from on a weekly basis?

According to demographic documents, 108,354 people live within 5 miles of Lewis and Sterns.  Click here to view the 2005 document on the Whitman parcel from realtor Steve Lennex.  Lewis and Sterns is also currently listed as the second highest crash intersection in Bedford Township.  Click here to view the statistics from SEMCOG.

POLICE:
As an estimate, divide approximately 159,390 new shoppers weekly into 7 days in one week and that equals 27,770 more shoppers in Bedford Township daily.  This figure by itself would mean that we would almost double the "population of our township every day."

Add 27,770 shoppers and 32,000 residents and you get a total of 59,700 total residents and shoppers in Bedford Township daily. 

Now consider the police force.  Bedford Township presently has 10 full-time police officers to protect approximately 59,700 shoppers and residents daily. 

Do you think that 10 Bedford Township police officers can protect 59,700 people daily?  That is one Bedford Township police officer for every 5,970 people per day.  In comparison, Toledo Police have about 600 police officers to police about 300,000 people daily.  That is one Toledo police officer for every 500 people.

There is no possible way that the 10 Bedford Township police officers could protect approximately 59,700 people daily, so a larger police department would have to be created, at the cost of Bedford Township taxpayers.  

CRIME:
Bedfordwatch.com did a study on the amount of crime that Wal Mart brings to an area. The Sylvania Township Police Department provided us with police reports on the nearest Wal Mart on Central Avenue in Toledo (10 miles away from the proposed Wal Mart at Lewis and Sterns). In the past 5 years, Wal Mart had 741 crime reports inside and outside the store at the Central Avenue location.

It does not matter to us what crimes take place inside or in the parking lot of a big box store, it still takes a police officer an average 2-6 hours to process any crime. That means less protection on the neighborhood streets from our police force.  Less protection if someone tries to break into our homes or commit a serious crime in our neighborhoods.

National estimates indicate that almost
1 million criminal/police incidents occurred at Wal Mart stores in 2004 – or 2 criminal/police incidents per minute in 2004.

ROADS:

Road funds are derived solely from fuel and other highway taxes.  If a big box store were built in this township, the community would receive ZERO DOLLARS for road improvements from the big box store.  Three of the four roads that lead into Lewis and Sterns are 2 LANE TOWNSHIP ROADS, not 5 lane highways. 

TAX BENEFIT:
The tax base from a new 15 million dollar big box store built in Bedford Township would only generate 66 cents per resident per year in tax revenues.
CLICK HERE for the study or call the township Treasurer- Sherri Meyer at 734-847-6791.

NEARBY SMALL BUSINESSES:

According to
60 Minutes on CBS, every time a Wal-Mart store comes to town, it causes over 100 local stores to close. This in turn will decrease the commercial property values in Bedford Township since many local small businesses will be forced to close and many local commercial buildings will be left vacant.  

DENNIS STEINMAN:
The only member of the planning commission who did not vote for the rezoning on September 10, 2008 was Dennis Steinman.  "I just can't vote for this the way it has been presented," Mr. Steinman said. "I have no idea what kind of large store could come in on this property.  If we set this up like this, we've got problems," Mr. Steinman said. "Some large store could come in here. I can't see bringing something large that would suck business away from our people."

PARCELS:
Jon Whitman owns
5 parcels in this township and the residents and other business owners in Bedford own the other 14,000 parcels.

AMERICAN JOB LOSSES:
More than 70% of Wal Mart's non-food merchandise is supplied by China.  Wal Mart "muscles" manufacturers causing American plants and jobs to be shipped overseas.  
CLICK HERE to watch the latest PBS movie.

FORMER SUPERVISOR:
Mr. Lamar Frederick, former Township Supervisor from 1996 until 2004 pointed out that there were “many concerns” about the Whitman rezoning including the “division of the land, potential and permitted uses, the health, safety and welfare of the citizens, and the impact on the adjacent property.”

DRAIN COMMISSIONER:

According to Doug Thompson of the Monroe County Drain Commission, the Hooper Run drain on the Whitman property lacks "sufficient capacity for the amount of development contemplated for the site."   Click here to view the document.

TOWNSHIP BOARD:

Two new members were added to the township board in November of 2008: James Goebel and Gail Hauser-Hurley. 

PAUL FRANCIS:
Paul is a family member of Jon Whitman's and a current township board member.  On November 14, 2006 we presented Paul Francis and the township board members with 500 letters from residents against the settlement and over 1,000 petitions that show we do not want a Wal Mart in Bedford Township.  CLICK HERE to read the comprehensive article from The Toledo Blade.

GEORGE WELLING:
Mr. Welling ran against Bob Schockman for the Bedford Township Clerk on November 4, 2008 and
lost.    According to the Monroe County Clerk's office,  George Welling accepted a $500 political contribution (the largest amount permissible by Michigan law)  from Jon Whitman during the recent 2008 election.  On Tuesday January 3, 2009, the Bedford Township Board elected him to a position on the Bedford Township planning department.

BIG BOX BATTLES:
San Diego, CA. was successful in
stopping a Wal Mart.
Turlock, CA: Wal-Mart Loses Second Court Appeal in Size Cap Case.
Charlevoix, MI: Big-Box Battle.