Residents not happy location of new Walmart

By: Kali Nicole

Like any residential area, there are ups and downs in the Wilderness Ridge and Stoneridge Estates neighborhoods.

“Traffic is already pretty bad with Adams School. People cut through our neighborhood, so I can only imagine with Walmart being there in the influx of traffic going through our neighborhood and then just trying to get out of our neighborhood,” said Teri Johnson.

Residents won't get any say on whether the headache will get worse. The super center is slated to be up and opened in their back yards along 27th Street come Fall 2013. No city approval needed.

That's what Randy Millwood says angers him. Him, and others say they wouldn't have both and built there if they would have known. “All the zoning that we understood was slotted for single story office or a strip mall. Not a big box,” said Millwood.

The City's Planning Commission says all big-box areas are zoned the same way as small retail ones. They add, in 2001, there was an administrative amendment added to that area allowing Walmart to go in there. They say no one from the south neighborhoods surrounding the land complained.

Since it won't do any good now, Millwood says they'll just have to come up with another solution.

“Sit down with a representative from the city, from the development, ridge development and from Walmart to come up with a solution about barriers like trees or what not and for the to access only the property off 27th Street and not to have an entrance off Grainger Parkway, which would lead right into our neighborhood,” said Millwood.

This Walmart will be significantly smaller than the others in town simply, because there isn't enough room for a big one on this land. So while they will offer things like clothing and groceries, a Tire and Lube will not be here.