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2000-07-21
Colleyville, TX. City Rejects Wal-Mart

On July 18th. the Colleyville, Texas City Council listened to the concerns of its citizens and voted against rezoning land for a Wal-Mart "Neighborhood Market". Wal-Mart is looking for towns in Texas to expand its "small" 40,000 - 53,000 s.f. prototypes that it unveiled in Arkansas. But there will not be a Neighborhood Market at the corner of Route 26 and Cheek-Sparger Road. Immediately after residents defeated Wal-Mart, word leaked out that the company had another location in mind. "Just because we lost last night does not mean we are out," said Naftali Garcia, a spokesman for Wal-Mart. She told the Star-Telegram newspaper "While there have been ongoing discussions about several sites, we don't have any absolute plans." The second site is 2 miles away in an "upscale" project called Town Center. "Upscale is what we were promised," said one neighbor, "and Wal-Mart is what we are being given. Nobody wants to see Wal-Mart in this city." Colleyville Mayor Donna Arp said residents want more retail choices, but she is not thrilled about Wal-Mart looking at the second location. "I was surprised that there would be another effort to bring a grocery store to the center of Colleyville. I, like our residents, had hoped for something different." The newspaper reports that residents were concerned about Wal-Mart abandoning stores across the state. Texas has the largest number of empty Wal-Marts (40) in the nation. One resident was quoted as worrying that the Market would fail and be left empty. "We are not opposed to people selling their land and putting in some kind of development. but this is not a smart one." The developer who is pushing the Wal-Mart says it spent about $100,000 and a year and a half of time, only to be rejected by the City Council.The developer said he did not understand opposition based solely on the Wal-Mart name. "The 'no-Wal-Mart' battle cry is popular right now," said Bill Stimmel of Burk Collins & Co. "That amazes me. This is a grocery store. This concept deserves a chance." The fact remains, Wal-Mart and the developer chose land that was not properly zoned, and the City Council decided that rezoning did not deserve a chance.

What you can do: This is not the first Wal-Mart headache in this part of Texas. In South Arlington, residents swamped City Hall with petitions, emails and letters in opposition to a supercenter, and in North Fort Worth, residents have promised to boycott a Neighborhood Market that is almost completed on Park Vista Boulevard. Wal-Mart also announced they plan to build another Neighborhood Market in Keller, Texas. According to the Star-Telegram, Wal-Mart has plans to build 8 Neighborhood Markets in the Fort Worth area, and 50 throughout Texas. Even when Wal-Mart is voted out, they act as if the development process is just a matter of out-lasting, or out-spending your opponent -- town residents. "Just because we lost last night," Wal-Mart says, "doesn't not mean we are out." What would Sam Walton have said about that? He promised that if a town didn't want Wal-Mart, he wouldn't go in and create a fuss. Now, locating a Wal-Mart against citizen wishes seems like just a challenge to the company, as opposed to a message to be heeded. Add Colleyville to the list of towns that have slam-dunked Wal-Mart.










 
 
"Norman has become the guru of the anti-Wal-Mart movement" ~ 60 Minutes

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