Sequim residents protest plans for Walmart

February 24, 2004


SEQUIM, Wash. – Some residents of Sequim, on Washington’s Olympic penisula, are protesting the proposed arrival of Walmart.

A judge has been hearing arguments about the environmental impact of the move. His decision will change the whole landscape of the idyllic town.

KING The proposed site for Walmart in Sequim.
Home Depot is already moving in and now, with Walmart across the street, the two would take up the space of dozens of football fields.

"We're devastated that this project has been proposed," said Sequim resident Andrew Shogren, who is concerned about development.with the added traffic and pollution. He's angry that the Sequim City Council approved the permits, but did not require environmental impact statements.

"It’s frightening to me that they can come in here and do a project that’s the size of 50 football fields and not have to look at the environmental impact they'll have on a small community like Sequim," he added.

Many fear the economic impact on the quaint little town that is about to be what some call "Walmartized."

"They could put everyone in this town out of business, whoever deals with their kind of products because they are so large," said True Value store manager Kent Wince.

In nearby Port Angeles, the judge heard arguments from both sides on the need for more environmental study. But Sequim officials said there have been enough studies.

"Growth is supposed to occur in cities and not in counties,” said Sequim city attorney Craig Ritchie. “The idea is to condense it all and that's what we did."

The judge is expected to decide on the environmental issue in two to three weeks.

Walmart has been successful at moving into most smaller towns, but recently Gig Harbor voted to reject it.



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