Walmart Is A Crime Magnet
Why aren’t the New Berlin Police Chief, Plan Commission, and Common Council concerned about the crime that a 24/7 Walmart super store that is less than a half mile from I94 concerned about the crime it will bring to our community and the cost to the community? The meager $66,257 increase in tax revenue that the super center will generate for the city won’t cover the $107,815 needed for the salary and benefits for one police officer. And that isn’t the only cost to the community. If police, fire, and EMT resources are busy at Walmart you can bet the response time for other locations will increase.
West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Justice L.V. Starcher wrote in his conclusion in Jane Doe vs. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., “A quick search of reported cases reveals that Wal-Mart parking lots are a virtual magnet for crime. A host of rapes, robberies and murders have occurred in the past few years which resulted in litigation against Wal-Mart”.
I did an internet search and compiled a 7 page list (below). I only recorded crimes committed this year (2013) and ignored less serious crimes like retail theft, credit/debit card and check fraud, which Walmart is known to vigorously prosecute and consume a significant amount of police and court resources.
I did a similar internet search for “Target store” (you must put it in brackets or you will find a bunch of irrelevent stuff) and came up with only a few cases this year. While they are serious crimes and none of us want a 24/7 Target store at the gateway to New Berlin either, it does show that there is something about Walmart that attracts criminals, mentally ill, perverts, and crackpots. Some have alleged it is Walmart’s failure to provide adequate security in their stores and parking lots.
The list goes from January 1 – August 7, 2013. A quick search today on “Walmart shooting” sadly reveals 3 more serious shooting incidents since August 7th, including one in Neenah, WI. Here are links to articles about those incidents:
And here’s the list of 2013 crimes at Walmart I compiled:
New Berlin residents call your alderperson and ask why he or she isn’t concerned about the increase in crime the 24/7 super Walmart will generate and how it will tax our City resources.
13221 W. Meadow Lane
New Berlin, WI 53151
14360 W. Wilbur Dr
New Berlin, WI 53151
17631 W. Westward Drive
New Berlin, WI 53146
Kenneth A. Harenda II
19400 W. Vista Drive
New Berlin, WI 53146
15195 W Harmony
New Berlin, WI 53151
4227 S. Coventry Ct.
New Berlin, WI 53151
15905 W. Armour Ave
New Berlin, WI 53151
Top 10 New Berlin Walmart Myths
Walmart Tax Facts
Say NO to Super Walmart
Here’s the Situation.
- Walmart has asked the City of New Berlin to re-zone land near the corner of Greenfield Avenue and Moorland Road from “Residential” to “Commercial”. This will require a major change to the City’s 2020 Comprehensive Plan adopted just a few years ago. The City has the right to reject changing the Comprehensive Plan and the right to deny a change in zoning.
- Walmart intends to construct a 151,357 square foot super center with paved parking for 648 cars. That is 100 parking spaces short of what is required by the New Berlin City Code. Walmart says it knows better how many spots are needed and expects the City to give them a free pass on this requirement.
- The site Walmart intends to develop is approximately 16 acres immediately south of the Charcoal Grill restaurant. Most of that area is natural woods and home to deer, fox, song birds, owls, rabbits, etc. Walmart would destroy 85% (or more) of those trees to make space for their “Super Center”.
- Walmart has told the New Berlin they would channel rain water runoff to the West of the property so that it would drain into Deer Creek and flow through the Brookfield Hills Golf Course. This area has had flooding issues in the past. Walmart says it will install a 1,000,000 gallon underground storm water detention facility (sort of a Walmart “Deep Tunnel” project). Each inch of rainfall will result in 420,000 gallons of runoff. That means as little as 2.5 inches of rain will cause the detention facility to overflow and untreated runoff will flow into Deer Creek.
- Walmart hired their own consultants to prepare a traffic study for the area surrounding the intersection of Greenfield Avenue and Moorland Road. During rush hours, this is already a congested intersection. The study did not take into account 1) additional traffic from the reconstruction of the Zoo Interchange, 2) additional traffic from the hotel already approved for the Southwest corner of this intersection, or 3) any additional traffic that will pass through the adjoining neighborhoods. The land on the east side of Moorland Road (from Greenfield Avenue to the railroad tracks) is currently zoned for commercial development. Any additional traffic from that was also ignored. The Wisconsin Department of Transportation and Waukesha County are currently reviewing this study.
Here’s What You Can Do
- Call your alderman and Mayor and tell them you are opposed to the Walmart development.
- The city Plan Commission will probably vote on this issue at its May meeting. The Plan Commission recommendation will then be sent to the Common Council for a final vote in May or June. Please check the New Berlin website (http://www.newberlin.org) for future plan commission and council meetings regarding Walmart.
- Join our “Neighbors First New Berlin” group (http://neighborsfirstnb.org). Preserve the Comprehensive Plan. Stop the rezoning and say NO to Super Walmart.
- Sign our petition. Buy a T-shirt for $10 to wear to civic meetings and community events. Contact or Jocelyn (email@example.com).
- Display a “No Rezoning for Walmart” yard sign. Yard signs cost $5 and can be ordered from Bill (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Tell your friends and neighbors that this is a matter that requires everyone to get involved or Walmart will have their way. New Berlin residents will have to put up with the non-stop traffic, noise, glaring lights and increased demands on city services.
Many New Berlin residents recently received mailings from Walmart that include some of our concerns and Walmart’s response to those concerns. Here are their responses and our rebuttal:
Walmart’s requested rezoning of lands near the corner of Greenfield and Moorland will be a major change to the City’s 2010 Comprehensive Plan adopted just a few years ago.
Walmart says, “… all plans are intended to change with the times. The City has changed its comprehensive plan five times since 2010. Given how busy the Greenfield commercial corridor is, the southeast corner of Greenfield and Moorland is better classified as “commercial” not “residential.”
The truth is that plans do change and the city’s plan does allow for amendments, however, the plan should be amended when the proposed change reflects the desires of New Berlin residents, not the desires of Walmart. Changes should be consistent with the goals and objectives of the plan. A Walmart “super center” at the proposed site is completely inconsistent with the goals and objectives of the New Berlin 2020 Comprehensive Plan. Go to the city’s website and view the plan for yourself (or use the link on our website). Read the Executive Summary, Chapter 10 Land Use Plan, and Chapter 11 Neighborhood A.
The City is giving Walmart a free pass to provide 100 fewer parking spaces than required by City Code.
Walmart says, “… Walmart strives to be sustainable and limit pavement whenever possible. The City’s Code allows Plan Commission to accommodate lesser parking where, as here, no actual parking shortage is anticipated.”
The truth is that Walmart’s plan falls short of the number required by city code by 100 spaces. According to Walmart’s attorney, 85% of the property they want to develop will be impervious surface. How is that sustainable development? You need only to look at the number of stores Walmart has abandoned throughout the country (and the greater Milwaukee area) to see how “sustainable” Walmart is.
Walmart will destroy all trees south of the Charcoal Grill, most of which is natural woods and home to deer, fox, songbirds, owls and rabbits.
Walmart says, “… Walmart will not even be acquiring woods extending more than 4 ½ football fields north of Westmoor Park Subdivision. In addition, Walmart will preserve all wetlands and more than 100 trees along its east boundary and the west boundary of the cemetery.
The truth is that we didn’t say that (see above). We said Walmart will destroy 85% of old growth forest on the approximately 16 acre site. The wooded area that is cleared will be replaced by impervious surface. We don’t know how many trees will be destroyed because a complete tree survey hasn’t been done. Ask Walmart how many trees they will destroy.
Walmart’s project would cause untreated runoff to flow into Deer Creek and flood.
Walmart says, “… Walmart’s project would help reduce flooding in the area. Currently, the site has no stormwater management and runoff flows unrestricted to Greenfield Avenue. Walmart plans to add stormwater detention facilities to retain approximately 1.2 million gallons of stormwater on-site during any storm event, reducing the peak runoff rate of the 100-year storm event by approximately 85%.”
The truth is that Walmart’s project will INCREASE flow into Deer Creek. Asphalt pavement and buildings are impervious to rainfall infiltration and, therefore, runoff occurs in greater amounts than in a natural setting. Walmart is proposing construction of an open pond-like structure (which will be a great nesting ground for mosquitoes) and a sub-surface structure. NEITHER WILL TREAT RUNOFF! Oil, brake fluid, antifreeze, and other pollutants from the parking lot will pass through them.
Walmart’s traffic study ignored traffic from the hotel project approved at the southwest corner of Greenfield and Moorland, additional traffic that will pass through adjoining neighborhoods and traffic from land on the east side of Greenfield zoned for commercial development.
Walmart says, “…Walmart’s traffic study has been expanded in scope several times to include the hotel on the west side of Moorland and the other known developments planned within the area. By implementing necessary road improvements at its expense, Walmart will improve traffic flow along Moorland and Greenfield. Before implementation, Walmart’s traffic study and its recommendations must be approved by traffic experts for Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Waukesha County, City of New Berlin and City of Brookfield.
The truth is Walmart’s original study did not include traffic from the hotel project. An updated Traffic Summary has finally been posted to the city’s website. We see many problems with it. First and foremost, it was done by a consultant hired by the developer whose sole purpose was to minimize the project impact so it would face less resistance. The city should hire an independent consultant (by independent we mean hasn’t consulted for Walmart or the developer) at Walmart’s expense to review the developer’s study and conduct a traffic analysis. The Walmart summary concludes the proposed superstore would add between 1,150 and 2,310 average daily trips “based on national studies”. We would like to know whose studies those are. Everything we’ve read indicates an accurate count would be closer to 10,000 to 12,000 daily trips for a discount superstore. In addition, Walmart plans to develop two fast food restaurants (one with a drive-through) on the property, they say in 2023. Do you really believe they will wait 10 years for that development? The revised summary does take into account development of the hotel and two new developments on the Brookfield side of Greenfield, but again for the year 2023. Do you believe it will be 10 years before there is any further development along the Greenfield corridor? We don’t. Some of the turning movement counts done for this analysis were done on Fridays. Those of us who travel through the Greenfield/Moorland intersection know that Friday is the weekday with the lightest traffic. The study did not analyze impact to alternate roadways, which will surely be impacted. Walmart is actually trying to tell New Berlin residents their requested development will improve traffic conditions along Greenfield Avenue and Moorland Road. Seriously Walmart! Do you think New Berlin residents will believe that building a superstore and two fast food restaurants which will substantially increase the number of vehicles travelling those roadways will improve traffic conditions? That just defies common sense! Give us more credit than that!
Here’s What You MUST Do
It is imperative that you call and email the mayor and your alderman to tell them you are opposed to the requested rezoning and urge them to oppose it too. Contact information effective April 16, 2013:
David A. Ament email@example.com 262-797-2441
Alderman John Hopkins firstname.lastname@example.org 262-786-1213
Alderman Laura Karvala email@example.com 262-366-6248
Alderman Ronald Seidl firstname.lastname@example.org 262-784-1352
Alderman Kenneth A. Harenda II email@example.com 262-971-1048
Alderman Joseph Stribl firstname.lastname@example.org 414-788-3753
Alderman Dennis Horbinski email@example.com 262-860-9052
Watch the documentary, “The High Cost of Low Prices” to get the truth about Walmart. It was released in 2005, but is still very relevent. It can be checked out at the New Berlin Public Library or you can view it on Netflix or You Tube (go to our Links page).