The Continuing Wal-Mart Controversy in Hawthorne

Hector Castillo, Staff Writer

Hawthorne Deserves Better, a non-profit group of citizens in Hawthorne, New Jersey, has filed a second lawsuit opposing a Wal-Mart, which may possibly be built on 204 Wagaraw Road.

The lawsuit deals with whether or not public notice was given about two ordinances, which deal with retail development in industrial areas. Joe Osborne, the president of Hawthorne Deserves Better, told NorthJersey.com that there was no notice given to the public about these ordinances being passed. However, public notice is necessary when an ordinance is adopted. If Osborne’s claims prove true, the lawsuit could void the regulations, meaning the Wal-Mart might not be built.

The first of these ordinances, adopted in 2000, allowed shopping centers to be built in industrial areas, as long as they follow certain requirements as to how they are used. Adopted in 2008, the second ordinance modified these requirements for shopping centers in industrial areas.

Hawthorne Borough Attorney Michael Pasquale said that the borough is going to try to get the latest lawsuit dismissed because it was only filed due to the first lawsuit being denied, states NorthJersey.com.

In addition to questioning the two ordinances, the Hawthorne Deserves Better website lists 10 reasons why it opposes a Wal-Mart being built in Hawthorne, mentioning traffic, the quality of the store, and a “net loss for Hawthorne” as just some of its concerns.

The citizens of Hawthorne do deserve better–and this will require both sides to negotiate a reasonable solution that will give Hawthorne the tax ratable it needs and at the same time protect the quality of life we all desire.