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The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Write for Us
Want your voice to be heard? Submit a letter to the editor, send us an op-ed pitch or check out our open positions for the chance to be published by the Daily Utah Chronicle.
@TheChrony

Wal-Mart slashes community cohesion along with prices

By Jeremy Millsap

The Sandy community has been fighting the construction of a Wal-Mart on the grounds of the old gravel pit at approximately 1000 E. 9200 South.

I’ll admit, I tend to be biased against Wal-Mart-but I think this one in particular will hurt the Sandy economy and directly affect the lives of everyone, including the downtown population of Salt Lake City.

That may seem like a lot of punch from a little, ugly warehouse.

However, the purpose behind the new superstore-though developers won’t admit to it-is to drive the Sandy mall out of business.

Though this topic might not seem relevant for college students who may not even intend to stay in Utah after graduation, it is relevant in the sense that it represents a larger national trend. Our society is moving away from traditional commercial stores that have been with America since its inception.

In exchange, we are gaining low prices, but losing our sense of community.

This is an issue of principle. A city legislature should not be allowed to dictate zoning decisions over the heads of the local community. Elected or not, they are still accountable to the taxpayers.

To simply push this issue through shows a lot of contempt on the part of elected officials. There are a lot of possible uses for the territory, not even necessarily commercial ones. The decision should be made, at least in part, by the people who will live next door to it. Zoning laws may seem boring, and even kind of pointless, but they still exist to help the community.

Since the legislature is trying to change the districts, it certainly shouldn’t have required a state court order to force the issue to referendum-probably the Nov. 8 general election.

It is possible that, if taken to the polls, the initiative to stop the Wal-Mart development will fail. In this case, the issue should end there. No appeals and no more red tape-they would win, unfortunately. However, Wal-Mart developers should also accept the opinion of the community if the vote halts construction.

Instead, they are intent on appealing in the event that they lose. This will certainly tie up our courts and cost the city millions of dollars in court fees.

It’s not like Sandy has no other alternatives to Wal-Mart. In fact, who says they can’t just add more condominiums, or even houses? Hey, you might as well just turn the gravel pit into a giant parking lot.

This is mostly a residential district, so why destroy the land value of people’s homes? These people were forced to live next to a gravel pit for so many years-let’s reward them with something a little better than a Wal-Mart.

Housing constraints on the southern end of the valley are extensive, and instead of attempting to practice more effective development of the area, city planners pursue a reckless and overzealous development of South Mountain, greater Draper and South Jordan.

A park would do a lot to beautify the area and would be a welcome relief between the congestion of 700 East and 1300 East.

It would also give the area a feeling of warmth that it desperately needs. In a society losing its sense of community, it would be nice to build something that would contribute to the community, not take away from it.

letters@ chronicle.utah.edu

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