This is the story of a Wal-Mart delayed. On August 8, 2004, Sprawl-Busters reported that Fulton County, Georgia Commissioners had voted 6-1 against a Wal-Mart big box store in a sensitive area along Cascade road in the middle of a 100-year flood zone, among the wetlands between two state-protected tributaries, because of the negative impact on the environment, and the impact of approximately 9,500 additional vehicle trips per day for a 24-hour operation (including 18-wheelers) at the gateway into a 2 1/2-block commercial village. The County allowed the zone Wal-Mart needed, a C-1, but put a cap of 55,000 s.f. on the size of a store on that property. Although residents celebrated a victory for the moment, Wal-Mart appealed the county’s decision, and residents now report that the court decided in favor of Wal-Mart. Here is the letter District 7 County Commissioner Bill Edwards wrote to his constituents in early March: “Yesterday I received word from our Legal Department that the Judge had ruled against our zoning on Wal-Mart. Initially, when the judge remanded it back to Fulton County, he asked us to give it a constitutional zoning. As you recall, the Board of Commissioners approved a C-1 zoning with the condition that the store be no more than 55,000 square feet. In my view by passing the zoning and adding the condition, we met the letter of the law. However on Thursday evening, March 2, 2006, the Judge, in his wisdom, granted Wal-Mart a C-1 zoning classification with approximately 185,000 square feet of density on the subject site. The applicant also filed a Motion of Contempt against the Board of Commissioners. The Judge ruled that the Board did not act in a willful contempt by approving a C-1 rezoning with conditions. The community has consistently said they do not want the big box in their neighborhood. As your representative, I have consistently voted against Wal-Mart’s zoning. And on that note, I am prepared to recommend to our Legal Department to appeal this ruling to a higher Court. However, I want to remind you that I will need the support of at least two more of my colleagues to set this in motion. I spoke with Vice Chair Darnell yesterday and she is willing to support this appeal. All of our options have not been exhausted, and I think it’s good government that we continue until we exhaust all options in making sound decisions for the people we govern. I am committed to the continued fight to help keep the quality of life we have in the Cascade area. Please support me by asking my colleagues to support Vice Chair Darnell and me in our request for an appeal.”
There are 7 Fulton County Commissioners. If you would like to encourage them to continue their effort to block Wal-Mart and protect local homeowners, the Commissioners can be reached at 404-730-8200, or go to their website at http://www.co.fulton.ga.us/commissioners/commissioners_home.html . Urge them to keep up with legal defense, and not let Wal-Mart overrun their community with a store too large for the community.