Residents in Fort Worth, Texas don’t want a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market in the neighborhood. Here’s a report from the scene in Fort Worth: “Wal Mart has put contract on a small tract of land for one of their “Neighborhood Stores.” This location is immediately behind a fine elementary school in our neighborhood. When our neighborhood association became aware of the developers plans to sell the property to Wal Mart, we got into high gear. We polled the association — the response of the 200+ folks was 95% no. Wal Mart has met with the school and promised them all kinds of stuff. The principal and the head of the PTA swallowed their pitch hook, line and sinker. On the East side of the proposed location is a city park. Our organization has spent a considerable amount of money installing new playground equipment, a covered pavilion and the city put in 28 new trees. Wal Mart’s plans are to separate their land from the park by a cyclone fence. Separating the site from the school is an 8′ concrete fence of some kind. We hear that Wal-Mart is going to attempt to get a variance so they can sell beer and wine. The school, park properties and neighborhood will be trashed out. There is a location on the plans for gasoline sales. Now we will have lights on all night. Don’t let me forget the increase in traffic that is anticipated. Across the road from the proposed location are three new residential developments that were just approved — so more traffic. Our first zoning hearing was postponed for some suspicious reason. It is now scheduled for May 12. We will have a large group of residents at this hearing. Many letters and emails have already been sent to our mayor, city council personnel and prospective school board members. Our city councilman, has done a lot for our neighborhood. He comes up for reelection next year and I am sure he wishes to be reelected. The owners of small mom and pop convenience stores are rightly concerned. They can see where there business will go. Adjacent to the site is a tract on which a developer plans to build 33 townhouses ranging in price from $250,000 to $350,000. He thinks Wal-Mart would be a great neighbor. If I was building townhouses with those kind of prices, all I would want is townhouses valued at $400,000 next to me.
As Mister Rogers might have said: “Won’t you not be my neighbor?” For more information on the effort of Fort Worth residents to keep Wal-Mart out of the ‘hood, contact [email protected]