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Wal-Mart in Jefferson
This statement was sent by Brent Denzin, a Madison attorney, regarding the December 2005 lawsuit against the City of Jefferson.
- John Foust, goJefferson.com Webmaster
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 21, 2005
Jefferson, WI— On January 3, 2006, the City of Jefferson Common Council again refused to let voters decide whether impacts of proposed developments should be considered before annexing large parcels of land. The Council’s actions came days after a December 28, 2005, court order that stopped all Common Council action on proposed annexations of more than 15 acres until the court decides the legality of the Council’s actions.
“The direct legislation provides a cost-effective way to look at the potential impacts associated with proposed developments in rural areas,” said John Rhiel, spokesman for Coalition for a Better Jefferson. “The city can require proposed developers to pay for the studies, just like they do in nearby Stoughton,” he added.
The proposed direct legislation would require the Council to consider environmental, traffic, infrastructure and economic impacts that large developments would have on the City prior to approving an annexation of more than 15 acres.
Currently, Jefferson is not required to study environmental, economic or infrastructure impacts anywhere in the development process.
The impact studies will help promote business and protect rural land owners. “We believe that businesses look for strong communities and stable local economies. Incoming businesses will feel secure when they know that Jefferson is committed to conservative and well planned development,” said Rhiel
Recent studies have shown that big-box development may cost more in city services than they generate in tax revenue.
“The direct legislation could help the City avoid development that harms the Rock River and area drinking water supplies,” said Rhiel, also a member of the Rock River Coalition. One study showed the transformation of open land into parking lots generates 16 times more run-off. Polluted run-off from parking lots and other paved surfaces is the leading cause of water pollution in Wisconsin. “With the Rock River about a half-mile from the proposed site of the Wal-Mart Supercenter, the City should consider the potential impacts,” added Rhiel.