Carrollwood, FL. Neighborhood Doesn't Want Wal-Mart's Neighborhood Market
According to Channel 10 TV news in Tampa, Florida, Wal-Mart has a new fight on its hands in the unincorporated community of Carrollwood in Hillsborough County, Florida.
Wal-Mart is proposing a 45,000 s.f. Neighborhoo Market for the area, but the retailer has not been successful marketing it to the neighborhood.
A Land Use meeting being held by the County was expected to attract a busload of unhappy residents opposed to the store. County staff are recommending to the county commissioners that the project get a green light. A 45,000 s.f. store is more than an acre just for the building alone, and three-quarters of the size of a football field. The proposal also includes a 6,100 s.f. WaWa convenience store, along with a gas station.
Residents complain the big deal for them is traffic. The developer claims the project will add 4,700 new car trips per day to the area. Residents say that cut through traffic already is bad, and this project will make it worse.
"It's residential up and down the whole street, bus stops, children, no sidewalks, just a quiet road and it really cannot warrant this type of traffic," one Carrollwood neighbor told Channel 10 News. "We already have problems with cut through traffic with traffic calming devices installed in 2008. Wal-Mart had offered to add more traffic calming devices, we have more than any neighborhood in the county. We cannot take anymore traffic calming devices."
To try and hide the development from residential homes, Wal-Mart is proposing to build an 8 foot wall, and lower the height of light poles, using LED lights to cut down on light spilling over into the community.
Wal-Mart also says it will try to sae 5 grand oaks located on the site -- but will "relocate" three other of the large trees.
Residents would rather see Wal-Mart relocate its store and leave the grand oaks right where they are.
What you can do: Readers are urged to email Ken Hagan, Chair of the Hillsborough County Commissioners at https://webapps.hillsboroughcounty.org/bocc/ with the following message:
"Dear Chairman Hagan,
I urge the Commissioners to reject the 45,000 s.f. Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market, which has not gone over well with Carrollwood neighbors. There are already 10 Wal-Mart stores within 10 miles of Carrollwood -- half of which are supercenters, and 3 Neighborhood Markets. So there is no market need for another Wal-Mart store in Carrollwood, a retail-saturated area.
All you will get from this project is another 4,700 car trips a day. There will be no new jobs associated with this project, because Wal-Mart just displaces existing jobs at existing merchants.
Carrollwood doesn't need more national retail chain store, and there is no economic benefits that derive from this plan. Another gas station makes no sense environmentally, and will only take business away from existing gas stations."