1. Vacant lot that's practically a Superfund site
3. Ridiculously restrictive municipal zoning rules.
Mix these ingredients thoroughly. Stir until vacuous hippie (Hey, BTW hippie, HEMP is NOT a Food Group!) Subaru-driving morons begin to boil. Stand a safe distance away and enjoy the show.
So far, I'm guessing you have no idea what this is about. Lemme tell you: It is about pure, uncut awesome straight from the bottle. There's a vacant lot adjacent to a auto parts store I worked at back in the early '90s. That lot has remained vacant for decades because the ground is so polluted. Seems that back in the day, the power company used to creosote their utility poles on that site. This was back when it was OK to make dirt flammable, so they were generous and sloppy with their creosote. Then they moved away. The land went to waste and people even dumped garbage on it. It became one of the most ugly eyesores in all of Corvallis.
|Here's how it looked a while back when the Google SpyCar drove by.|
For a retailer, this location would be a very attractive place to put a store. It is on the busiest street in town. The lot is large enough to place a good-sized store on and yet have plenty of room for parking. Many potential tenants/builders have looked at it and said "How in the world is this land still undeveloped?!?" only to notice that they've spontaneously grown webbed feet and fangs from exposure to the dirt.
OK, that's part of the story. Another part is that Corvallis flat-out won't allow a retail building larger than 55000ft2. For years, that rule has kept out every big-box type retailer that has tried to enter this market. After years of wrangling, Home Depot was finally allowed to build one of their stores on industrial land, after successfully arguing that they sell industrial products. Nobody else has ever been successful. Walmart, for example, has wanted to put a store here for years. But there's no buildable land. And every time they sought a zoning change or variance on other pieces of land, the people would freak out.
And the alliance of "hippies + downtown mom'n'pop stores" liked it that way. Mustn't allow any Evil Corporations into our blessed little town, nosirree! Doesn't matter if most people WANT those kinds of stores and are willing to drive their SUVs (which run on 92 octane Gaia Blood) to neighboring towns just to save $1.88 on diapers. No Big Box was the rule, and it looked like it would be that way forever.
They said "Hey, you know that polluted patch of dirt that makes buried pets come back to zombie-life? Yeah, we'll clean that up and put a store on it. And it'll just be groceries and only 36k ft2 to get past your stupid zoning laws. How do you like me now?"
The soy-latte crowd is freaked out. "There's gonna be a Walmart in our town! Oh no!" The city says Walmart has followed all the rules and they can't discriminate against anybody, no matter how loathed. So the leftards are fighting amongst themselves in the Letters to the Editor section of the paper. Some are "we can't discriminate because, we're like, against discrimination and stuff" while others are "It isn't discrimination if we're talking about Corporate Evil Incarnate. I don't care if they followed our own dumb rules! They must be stopped!"
It is a joy to behold. Personally, I'm looking forward to the news reports like "Commie McGreeniepants made a martyr of himself when he tried to burn down the Walmart and the very dirt beneath his feet erupted in flames and consumed him. In lieu of flowers, please smoke a bowl in his memory"
we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground.
But we can put a Walmart on it! Whooo!