My View

Posted on September 16, 2010


Talk of my property taxes increasing as a result of the development of Lowe’s and Super Wal-mart in Salem doesn’t get me riled up as much as it makes me wonder about the machinations of property value assessment. But that’s a topic for another post. What makes me oppose the proposed development is its needlessness and the environmental degradation it will cause.

Home Depot and a host of other big box stores already occupy a parcel of land on top of a hill in Salem near to the development site. Also located there is an Ace Hardware. I don’t know about you, but I can already get cheaply made mass-produced home improvement tools and lawn maintenance machines from Home Cheapo, and it’s not that much farther out-of-the-way.

Why do Lowe’s and Wal-mart want to build just down the street from them? I don’t have the answer to this question, but I suspect that it’s for the sake of competing with Home Depot and ultimately putting them out of business.

In so doing, they lay waste to our environment. The developers will lay down acres of new asphalt to accommodate the potential shoppers.  More asphalt equals less earth to absorb the contaminant filled water that will drain into the watershed. And where will we be when one or the other big box goes out of business? With another empty useless shell of a building sitting in the midst of an increasingly paved-over landscape.

I would prefer that short of abandoning it, the city of Salem should significantly reduce the development’s footprint.

Posted in: local government