Mansfield, TX. Hundreds of Homeowners Sign Petition To Block Wal-Mart Superstore
Sprawl-Busters heard this week from unhappy residents in the city of Mansfield, Texas, who don't want another Wal-Mart superstore in their community. According to the Mansfield News-Mirror, homeowners in Mansfield are set to do battle with the world's largest retailer.
Mansfield is located in south central portion of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The city is 30 minutes from DFW International Airport, and offers easy access to Dallas, Fort Worth and other cities in the North Texas region. The city's population is just under 58,000 people. The city is already saturated with 18 Wal-Mart stores within 15 miles, including a superstore in Mansfield on North Walnut Creek Road, and 7 other Wal-Mart superstores only minutes away.
Leaders from as many as 8 different home-owners associations along North Holland Road and East Broad Street in Mansfield have circulated a petition against a 175,000-square-foot Wal-Mart superstore. The 20 acre site chosen by Wal-Mart just happens to be incorrectly zoned---which to the giant retailer is a minor detail.
The parcel is bordered on three sides by single family home developments, with a middle school and two other schools nearby. The homeowners worry that a huge superstore will lower property values, and raise traffic and crime. To date, more than 1,400 residents have signed a petition to keep Wal-Mart out. Residents have also started a website at www.stopthenewWalmart.com
"We're not against the commercial rezoning of that land," the president of the Meadow Glen homeowners association told the News-Mirror. "We're against the big-box, 24-hour retail at that intersection. The homes here belong to people who wanted to move away from traffic like that."
Residents told Sprawl-Busters this week that Wal-Mart has not yet submitted anything in writing to the city. The city's Planning Director told the newspaper a rezoning application from Wal-Mart will be submitted this month. It will then go before the city's Planning and Zoning Commission, with the final say resting in the hands of the City Council. That means residents need to get at least 4 members of the City Council to vote against rezoning.
Under section 8600 of the City's Zoning Ordinance, landowners can ask for a zoning "amendment" to reclassify their property. The zoning ordinance itself does not state the criteria that the Planning and Zoning Commission is supposed to use when making a decision to approve or disapprove of a zoning amendment. In section 6100, the Ordinance lays out the conditions for granting a specific use permit: 1. That the specific use permit will be compatible with and not injurious to the use and enjoyment of other property, nor significantly diminish or impair property values within the immediate vicinity; 2. That the establishment of the specific use permit will not impede the normal and orderly development and improvement of surrounding vacant property; 3. That adequate utilities, access roads, drainage and other necessary supporting facilities have been or will be provided; 4. The design, location and arrangement of all driveways and parking spaces provides for the safe and convenient movement of vehicular and pedestrian traffic without adversely affecting the general public or adjacent developments; 5. That adequate nuisance prevention measures have been or will be taken to prevent or control offensive odor, fumes, dust, noise and vibration; 6. That directional lighting will be provided so as not to disturb or adversely affect neighboring properties; 7. That there are sufficient landscaping and screening to insure harmony and compatibility with adjacent property.
The City Planning and Zoning Commission can also recommend to the City Council certain safeguards and conditions that require such development standards and operational conditions and safeguards as are indicated to be important to the welfare and protection of adjacent property and the community as a whole.
Planning and Zoning, and the City Council, have plenty of reasons to reject this inharmonious land use.
What you can do: Readers are urged to contact Mansfield, Texas Mayor David L. Cook at: firstname.lastname@example.org with the following message:
"Dear Mayor Cook,
The parcel that Wal-Mart wants to build another superstore on is too close to abutting single family residences and schools. A project of this scale will have negative impacts on residential values---the largest single investment made by residents in your city.
The size of a Wal-Mart superstore will be injurious to the use and enjoyment of their homes. This proposed use is also incompatible with the Mansfield land use plan, which calls for this property to be use for residential purposes.
Wal-Mart's proposal is inharmonious and incompatible with neighboring uses. Land use decisions should create a 'win/win' situation, not a "lose/win" situation. Under Wal-Mart's scenario, they win, and the neighbors lose. No amendment to this parcel should be allowed that will result in financial harm to the abutters.
You already have 18 Wal-Mart's within 15 miles of Mansfield, including a supercenter already within city limits. Your market area is saturated with Wal-Marts, and another store will only kill off smaller local competitors, and bring you no new jobs or taxes. For this, nearby homeowners will suffer."