EDMOND — An application for a specific-use permit to build a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market in northwest Edmond was denied Wednesday by planning commissioners. More than 250 people opposing to the project attended the meeting.
People filled the city council chambers and the lobby, while another 130 people watched from an overflow room across the street at the Downtown Community Center. Some carried signs with frowning “smiley” faces and anti-Wal-Mart messages.
They had petitions with signatures of 233 people who protestors said could not be at the meeting.
Opponents clapped and smiled as the planning commissioners voted 4-to-1 to reject and deny the application that would have recommended allowing a special use permit to build the market on the northwest corner of Coffee Creek Road and Kelly Avenue. Commissioner Mark Hoose cast the only no vote.
City council members will make a final decision on the application at a meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday at 20 S Littler Ave.
The 41,179-square-foot neighborhood market is proposed to be built on 5.52 acres of land.
Belmont Farms and Hunter's Creek housing additions and the Coffee Creek Golf Course and Clubhouse are on the other three corners of intersection of Coffee Creek Road and Kelly Avenue.
Property owners in the area said the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market did not fit the harmony of area. They also were concerned about the traffic, the pharmacy drive-thru and the store being open 24 hours a day.
“This site is too small and too close to the surrounding neighborhoods,” said Marc Ferguson, 4212 Wild Plum.
Blaine Nice, attorney for Wal-Mart, told the planning commissioners they had tried to answer the concerns of the neighbors.
“We believe everything is to code,” Nice said.
Planning commissioners said they have received a number of emails and telephone calls against the development.
A number of the opponents said they moved to that part of Edmond to get away from commercial developments.
“I don't want this in my backyard,” said Gary Jackson, 4116 Wild Plum Lane. “You can put lipstick on a pig. This pig is eating up the neighborhood.”
Sally Morgan, 2116 Woodhill Road, said, “Please preserve our quality of life.”
Chairman Barry Moore thanked the property owners for their conduct in the council chambers.
“I know this has been emotional and trying for the folks who live there,” said Moore, who called the property inappropriate for a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market or any grocery store.