Wal-Mart’s rezoning proposition was accepted by Frisco P&Z

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On November 11,the proposal and zoning commission elected 3-2 to rezone an area of land next to the expanding Phillips Creek Ranch community for Planned Development-Retail, which authorize Wal-Mart to construct a Supercenter on the property.The rezoning proposition still needs to go before the Frisco City Council for final acceptance. The election came after a warm discussion among residents and commissioners over whether a big box retail store would be ideal for the neighbouring communities at the intersection of FM 423 and Stonebrook Parkway.

Frisco native Sean Heatley,represented Phillips Creek Ranch residents, said most inhabitant who responded to a survey against big box retail in their neighborhood. ‘’Here are the two primary issues: Heatley uttered that the big box store is too big for this certain corner and puts it in close proximity to the neighbors,

A Wal-Mart spokesperson named Dan Millner said that the purpose to have 190,000-square-foot store, rather than a smaller community Market at the intersection is to have a return on investment in the area in which Wal-Mart already bought. With almost 28 acres brought, Wal-Mart decides to have about 18 acres allotted to the store and gas pumps. About 10 remaining acres will be utilized for passive open space and to maintain a pond on the property.

The proposition recommends putting a double row of trees to divide the residential houses from the store’s property. Anthony Winson, a Frisco native said that even with that barrier, the store will still detract from the charm of the neighboring communities. He also added that ‘’ Placing a fence around it with a few trees is like placing lipstick on the hog.

As per Millner, another purpose to have a Supercenter is to address the market of Frisco’s increasing population. “You guys are clearly familiar with all the growth in Frisco and the future growth coming in Frisco,” He said. “For the consumer experience to be great, they have to construct more stores in order to have shorter lines, to have all the products and services people desire and anticipate.” Over a dozen residents spoke against the suggested rezoning for Wal-Mart, mentioning problems like an increased traffic, higher crime rates and an oversaturation of shopping choices in the neighbourhood.

The crime rates near an existing Wal-Mart in Frisco were not different to other retail in the city said Chief John Bruce, a Frisco Police. He also added ‘’ what these numbers give me is unless you leave it an empty field, crime statistics will go up,”

Some residents did support the preposition. A Frisco native named Ramona Thompson said she would want the advantage of having a Wal-Mart near her house, and the traffic on FM 423 and Stonebrook Parkway would come even without a Wal-Mart at the intersection. She also mentioned ‘’ I know a number of people transferred here eight years ago when it was really peaceful and there wasn’t anything going on , but that is no longer the situation. “Preventing Wal-Mart is not going to stop the development. It’s already approaching. It’s already here.”

Other P&Z commissioners also had issues for the suggested rezoning. Commissioner Kevin Hodes said the plan appears like more of the same type of big box retail seen in other cities. “The people in Arkansas operating a billion dollar company should have some kind of distinct plans in the most exceptional city that we live in,”

When commissioners Will Russell and Kristie Edwards opted for the rezoning and commissioners Robert Roberti and Kevin Hodes opted against rezoning, P&Z Chairperson Bill Woodard broke the tie by voting for the proposition

Woodard said. “This procedure and these resolutions for me aren’t about whether it’s a Wal-Mart,” “It’s about whether it’s a big box. Wal-Mart should make the business resolutions as to how many branches they think they need. So, I’m trying to stay focused on just that.”

 


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