Wal-Mart is on its way to becoming a two-time loser in the community of Arlington, Texas. Four years ago, the City Council voted against a Wal-Mart supercenter, saying the project was too “intense” and “just didn’t fit” in the area sought. The retailer, which doesn’t like to take “No” for an answer, is still plugging away four years later, and still getting the same response. This week, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that the Planning and Zoning Commission voted 5-2 against Wal-Mart’s proposal for a supercenter at Little Road and U.S. 287. The newspaper estimates that more than 100 people sat through the four-hour meeting, and that “the overwhelming majority of them were opposed to the project.” The project is located on the same site Wal-Mart attempted four years ago, a parcel that crosses the border between Arlington and Kennedale. The store would be in Arlington, and Kennedale would get the parking lot. 25 people spoke against the project, complaining about crime, pollution, litter, bright lights, loud noise and traffic congestion. The final decision, however, rests with the City Council. Arlington resident John Morris was quoting as saying, “Four years ago, this was not a good fit for us. Why is it a good fit now?”
Wal-Mart is apparently so hard up for decent size lots — even in Texas — that it will circle around a site for years, waiting and hoping for the political climate and the personalities to change. In this case, only four years elapsed. In other cases, such as St. Albans, Vermont, Wal-Mart has waited ten years to return. For more on Arlington, see the 9/21/2000 article on Newsflash, or search by the town’s name in Newsflash.