Russellville Voters To Decide If Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market Goes Up

by Mark Carter  on Wednesday, Jul. 17, 2013 10:40 am  

Headquarters of Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Bentonville

Little Rock attorney Stephen Giles, Wal-Mart's land-use counsel for the project, said the company has long coveted a spot on the growing west side of town. Wal-Mart first filed an application for rezoning the site in 2011. He said 55 percent of the completed site would be landscaping, grass and berm, and that 167 new trees would be planted to help buffer the store from houses to the south.

The back of the building would be more than 500 feet from the nearest residence, Giles said.

Wal-Mart has agreed to pay for the installation of a traffic signal at West Main and Vancouver if the ordinance is upheld and the signal deemed necessary by an Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department study. Wal-Mart also agreed to contribute $125,000 for surrounding infrastructure development.

Currently, the nearest traffic signal is at Main and Phoenix, six blocks to the east. The Phoenix light is the only one on West Main between El Paso Avenue on the edge of downtown and Skyline Drive on the city's far west side.

Giles said if the zoning ordinance is upheld by voters, Wal-Mart wouldn’t begin applying for the permits necessary to proceed until all legal appeal periods have expired. He also couldn't rule out the possibility of a lawsuit if the ordinance is upheld.



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