A public hearing took place on Jan. 9 to discuss a new Walmart in East Patchogue, Long Island. The retail chain is the largest in the world, but its recent proposals for a store in New York City have been met with fierce opposition by the City Council and city residents.
According to Jack Krieger, public information officer at the Brookhaven Town Planning Board, to which East Patchogue belongs, many local residents have expressed dissatisfaction with a Walmart because of increased traffic and competition. Those against the expansion of Wal-Mart have noted that the chain’s low prices can potentially draw business away from local shops and force them to shut down.
At the hearing, board members discussed Wal-Mart’s proposed 98,000-square-foot-site plan and an evaluation of the project’s potential environmental impact, called a SEQR (State Environmental Quality Review).According to an Epoch Times report published last year, New Yorkers spent more than $195 million at Walmart stores outside the city in 2010. There are multiple Walmart locations in Long Island, but Krieger noted that if the plans for a Walmart in East Patchogue are to go through, New Yorkers are not likely to travel all the way there to shop—a drive from the Midtown Tunnel would take close to an hour to reach Brookhaven.