Residents in Spring Hill, Florida feel they are swamped with Wal-Marts already, and don’t need more. There is already a Wal-Mart superstore on Commercial Way that was the subject of a multi-year battle and litigation, plus 2 supercenters just a few miles to the east in Brooksville. In an email to Sprawl-Busters, homeowners in Spring Hill wrote: “We are experiencing a problem with a 4th Wal-Mart going in on a piece of property that was rezoned in 2001 from a commercial to a Big Box area. There are 3 schools in close proximity — one down the street within feet of the proposed building. The street is to be widened to 4 lanes with the 15+ feet coming from the school frontage. The school has a driveway and the entire front is glass. Wal-Mart needed to revise its first plan to address the infrastructure requirements. This had a deadline and it had passed; but this new plan is now being touted as answering all questions as far as the completed application is concerned. Environmental concerns are not being addressed properly with our residential development having a driveway right across the road aligned with the Wal-Mart driveway. We have sinkhole problems currently at our development and in our county our insurance is very high. We have been told that if more minimum wage jobs come into our county and if office and manufacturing jobs (with better wages) don’t arrive, our county in 10 years will be a ghost town.” According to the Hernando Today newspaper, Wal-Mart has sent Hernando County a revised plan for their store on Barclay Avenue. The supercenter will be 184,954 s.f. The new plan includes some roadway changes, and the assertion that Barclay will expand from its current two lanes, to four lanes — which should double the anxiety of local residents. Spring Hill residents say the new proposal still violates the county’s zoning code.
The Master Plan for zoning on this property expired in 2005, and the landowner now needs to revise it. A hearing that was slated for January 8th had to be postponed, because the county failed to properly advertise the hearing. The law firm representing the land owner, has asked the county to postpone the hearing until February 12th, so they can conduct a “public inquiry” workshop. “The purpose is to explain the application and listen to the citizens’ concerns,” the landowner’s lawyers told the newspaper. But if Wal-Mart had truly listened to citizen’s concerns, there would be no superstore proposal for Barclay Avenue. For earlier stories dating back to 1999, search Newsflash by “Spring Hill.”