WHITEHALL, Mich. — About 100 people packed a Whitehall Township Planning Commission meeting Wednesday evening to voice disapproval of a Wal-Mart Supercenter being built in their backyard.
The meeting, which featured Planning Commission and Wal-Mart officials, was moved from the township hall to Whitehall High School in anticipation of the large crowd. It lasted almost two hours where commission members heard Wal-Mart’s proposal, took comments from the audience, answered no questions and scheduled their next meeting for May 1, when they are expected to make a decision.
The group BOW NOT (Back Off Walmart — Not Our Town) is made up of residents of Whitehall, Montague and surrounding townships who oppose the construction of a 126,000-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter near the U.S. 31 interchange at Holton/Whitehall Road in Whitehall Township. They have retained attorney Scott Howard of Olson, Bzdok and Howard in Traverse City to represent their interests.
BOW NOT’s members have expressed numerous concerns about the effects a large Wal-Mart store would have on the area, including causing the demise of dozens of locally owned businesses.
The meeting was preceded by a rally outside the school by BOW NOT members carring protest signs.