The Puget Sound area (at least the south sound) is finally realizing that Wal-Mart isn't necessarily a benefit to the community. Olympia and Tumwater have both issued 6-month moratoriums on big box stores (anything over 125,000 square feet). This is absolutely amazing to me. Too often the local governments are wetting themselves over big box stores - more jobs, more revenue, more taxes, etc. Finally they are getting smart and realizing that those spaces could have different uses that would benefit everyone, not be an ugly eyesore, and not put local businesses out of business.
Please! Contact your city council and urge them to follow suit. Does anyone know if King County has the authority to pass such moratoriums? Or is it on a city-by-city basis?
Now as I write this I'm thinking about the big box stores that I frequent. Costco is really the only one I can think of at the moment. Occasionally Lowes and Home Depot too. And the infrequent Ikea trip. Should we be boycotting the box store phenomenon? I know I could live without Costco and Ikea. Could my husband live without Lowes? Have the giant hardware stores put enough smaller stores out of business that we can't find a good local hardware store anymore? I know in small towns (where there isn't a Depot or Lowes) the hardware stores rock. They're not so big that you get lost, the people are super nice and helpful, and they have everything you need. Is there one of those in Kirkland? Bellevue? I imagine there must be one in Seattle, but is it worth it to drive across the lake for a hardware store? Where should we draw the line?
Wednesday, February 16, 2005