EDMOND — Plans for a Walmart Neighborhood Market grocery store in Edmond have met resistance from nearby residents, but people on both sides of the issue still have two public meetings ahead to voice their opinions.
Walmart plans to build the grocery store on the vacant northwest corner of Coffee Creek Road and Kelly Avenue in northwest Edmond. It is a relatively undeveloped intersection with neighborhoods and a golf course nearby.
The store would be about 41,000 square feet, said Jan Ramseyer Fees, an Edmond city planner who recently supervised a community connection meeting with people who live near site.
About 100 people attended the meeting Thursday, most of whom were there because of misgivings about the proposed store, she said.
“(They had) concerns about traffic in the area, concerns about safety — safety of children and safety from things like theft that may be associated with Walmart but spill over into the neighborhood,” Fees said.
Walmart needs approval from the city council to be able to build the store. The parcel of land is zoned for commercial use, but it currently doesn't allow a grocery store.
“That zoning took place in 1984. It's been zoned for commercial for a long time,” Fees said.
A special permit would allow Walmart to open the store despite the zoning restriction. Other types of businesses could be built on the property without the permit, even if residents were opposed.
Walmart will seek the approval of the Edmond Planning Commission at the commission's Nov. 20 meeting. The permit request will then be forwarded to the Edmond City Council for consideration at its Dec. 10 meeting.
The council will consider the permit along with whether the planning commission recommended approval or denial, along with information about why the commission made its decision. But council members are not bound in any way by the commission's recommendation.
Fees said people who are interested in the issue should plan to attend the commission and council meetings to provide input and receive more information.