Neighbors Lose Bid to Stop a Far North Dallas Walmart, but the Fight Goes On

Categories: Biz, City Hall

Thumbnail image for SayNotoCoitArapahoWalmart.jpg
By the time neighbors caught wind of Walmart's plans to build a scaled-down Supercenter at the corner of Coit and Arapaho roads in Far North Dallas, it was too late. The retailer already had the proper zoning and had just signed a long-term lease. No matter how many yard signs (900) or petition signatures (2,700) angry neighbors could rack up, the store's eventual presence was a foregone conclusion. The retailer is ready for this type of NIMBY opposition. It's baked into its business plan.

Official confirmation came yesterday from City Councilwoman Sandy Greyson (h/t the Advocate). She posted a letter to residents explaining that, while neighbors had put up a good fight, they had failed to persuade Walmart to change its mind.

In the end, even though a great many people in the surrounding neighborhoods indicated they wouldn't shop there, Walmart believes that once the store is open, residents will shop there and it will be successful. They based their opinion on several factors: similar levels of opposition to other Walmart stores where residents who originally were opposed eventually shopped there, in particular a store in Austin, Texas which is now thriving, and a recent local survey commissioned by Walmart. The phone survey asked residents in Dallas council districts 11 and 12 within a three mile radius of Arapaho and Coit if they supported a store there. The results of 354 surveys were 49% in favor, 41% opposed, and 10% declining to answer. I believe that those who lived farthest away made up the bulk of the 49% favorable but there's no way of knowing for sure because names and addresses were not included in the results--Walmart reps felt that gathering that information would make the survey too costly.

Dorothy Wernsman, a Spring Creek resident who helped lead the anti-Walmart forces, is skeptical of the survey results. She heard from neighbors who received the survey that the questions were confusing and misleading, and she's upset that it only included Dallas residents and not those on the other side of Coit Road in Richardson who will be equally impacted. That said, "we really don't have a choice in the matter. We never had a legal standing like in so many other cases where Walmart has to be voted in.

"This was really just pleading with Walmart," she adds.

Not that the fight is completely over. Wernsman will head a neighborhood committee that will work to make sure that Walmart addresses neighbors' concerns. The top priority, Wernsman says, is to make sure the store isn't open 24 hours per day. A bit further down the list is some type of cart-containment system to make sure the neighborhood isn't littered with metal buggies; crime monitoring; and a litter/trash reduction program.

Meanwhile, in her letter, Greyson urges residents not to take the news too hard. "Everyone knew this was a David and Goliath battle and this time David didn't win," she said. "But if you don't try, you never win."

My Voice Nation Help
88 comments
Obummer
Obummer

Yo I know how to break wind.

kduble
kduble

The best cart containment system I've seen is at ALDI.You put in a quarter to get your cart; upon returning the cart, you get your quarter back. Homeless people will return carts just to get the quarters.

blankcur1
blankcur1

2 Points:  there are 2 Wal-Marts (and one WM Market) withing 3 miles of this intersection (Montfort and Arapaho, Coit and 190). This strip mall has been struggling since Borders left, and Durangos has relocated.

Kt Armstrong Althoff
Kt Armstrong Althoff

Especially in this neighborhood. We don't want them or need them. It's going to ruin the area.

Willie
Willie

Given that Sandy Greyson got quite a bit of ink, where was she this whole time that the shopping center owner was marketing the property?  Was she staying on top of the situation and communicating constituents' concerns to the property owner?  

Eric, any insights?

ruddski
ruddski topcommenter

In post-amnesty, where do you think all the new citizens will shop and work? Anti-Walmart is anti-immigration. Eventually, folks will assimilate, and shopping in Spanish is not very har.

Nik Shah
Nik Shah

They're right, North Dallas definitely isn't a place that Walmart could possibly fit in.

Chuck Marcelo
Chuck Marcelo

We kicked them out of the Love Field area. Good riddance. They kill everything around them.

Scott Stevenson
Scott Stevenson

More low paying jobs for only part time workers with no benefits.

axel.rod
axel.rod

More low paying jobs for part time workers with no benefits. 

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

How could anyone at the corner of Coit and Arapaho, two of the biggest thoroughfares in th entire Metroplex, not think car traffic centric stores would not eventually be there? I realize the center occupying that site was poorly managed and mostly empty. The neighbors got used to minimal traffic. They had to know that situation was not long term. It is not like dropping a Supercenter on a 2 lane country road.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@Obummer 

more accurate, you ARE the break wind.

WhiteWhale
WhiteWhale

@Kt Armstrong Althoff It is just horrible.  There were so many other stores clamoring for space in this packed bustling shopping center

Lorlee
Lorlee

@Willie Let me assure you that Sandy was very involved -- she was heard to comment that it was fortunate she didn't have an opponent in the election since she was spending all her time on this issue and the Cotton Belt.   


Willie
Willie

@Nik Shah  Oh, for sure it is.  North Dallas and Richardson are filled with the exact demographic that shops at Wal-Mart.

Sharon_Moreanus
Sharon_Moreanus topcommenter

You sure did. So they put in a Sams instead.

N_Dallas_dude
N_Dallas_dude

So are you complaining b/c traffic flows freely there?  As opposed to the rest of Dallas that is poorly designed an unable to handle traffic?

Obummer
Obummer

@mavdog@Obummer 

Yo git back ta werk b4 yo' boss sees how much o' his tyme [money] you be wasting writing comments on da dallasobserver.com site.

 

Obummer
Obummer

@mavdog@Obummer 

Yo git back ta werk b4 yo' boss sees how much o' his/her tyme [money] you be wasting writing comments on da dallasobserver.com site.

 

Willie
Willie

Thanks for the insight.  

Threeboys
Threeboys

Especially this part of North Dallas and Richardson.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

and a shiny new WalMart Supercenter right across the street from the Sams Club. oh, with a parking lot packed with customers....

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@N_Dallas_dude

I believe the point MikeWestEast is making (a good point BTW) is the street infrastructure exists that can easily handle the traffic the retail use will generate. These 2 throughfares were designed to move tens of thousands of vehicles/day.

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

I am saying if I live next to the Suez Canal with oil tankers moving back and forth, I cannot complain when a huge zoning permitted service operation opens up to sell to them.

WhiteWhale
WhiteWhale

@axel.rod @pak152 Yawn. So your dismissive ass is talking to your boring brain again? 

pak152
pak152

@axel.rod @pak152 that's what I like open-minded liberal progressives. try reading the article or come up with something that refutes what Perry wrote. much better than the LP propaganda put forth here by the DO and its sycophants

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

@axel.rod @becoolerifyoudid so what is your point?  Are you, like the commenter below, disgusted that 'poor' people will now be in  your neighborhood?

becoolerifyoudid
becoolerifyoudid

@axel.rod @becoolerifyoudid Well, save up your money, buy out the Waltons, and then raise the pay and benefits for everyone at Wal-Mart. 

Or boycott WM and go to Costco or a similar competitor that pays their employee a decentish wage. 

TheCredibleHulk
TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

@WhiteWhale @mavdog 

I'm guessing that a Wal-Mart that sells virtually everything will generate far more traffic than, say, Durango that sold specialty and consignment furniture.

The_triplefake_Brandon_Eley
The_triplefake_Brandon_Eley

@mavdog Arapaho, west of Coit, is 3 lanes with no right turn only lane into the strip mall.  That means either Arapaho remains as is with no turn lanes;  the existing right lane becomes a turn lane, reducing lane capacity by 1/3; or construction to streets  "built to handle the amount of traffic that (wal-mart) generates."

WhiteWhale
WhiteWhale

@mavdog On this I agree with you.  The neighborhood failed to support the stores that were originally there and those stores have closed.  Who do they expect to maintain the current ghost town?  What do they expect to happen?  

The_triplefake_Brandon_Eley
The_triplefake_Brandon_Eley

@MikeWestEast  Potentially, though my point was about the combo of traveling slower for the active school zone and added wm traffic.  AM may not be so bad, PM, I'm not so sure.     

MikeWestEast
MikeWestEast

@still_todd @mavdog It does not seem likely that high traffic times at Wal-Mart correlate with school hours.  When the kids are inside or not coming/going, a school is just another building to pass.

everlastingphelps
everlastingphelps topcommenter

@mavdog I just want to point out that you people have me agreeing with Mavdog in this story, and Bill Marvel in the other.

Folks, when you are opposed to both me AND mavdog, YOU are the crazy one.

mavdog
mavdog topcommenter

@N_Dallas_dude

hey, if you don't want to live in the city, don't live in the city. Traffic is part and parcel to being in a metro area, it doesn't make it "less desireable" to many people who choose to live there. Look at Northwest Hwy/Preston, some of the highest traffic counts for non-freeway throughfares AND some of the highest priced real estate is right around there!

the corner at Arapaho/Coit is zoned for retail use, the streets are built to handle the amount of traffic that use generates. WalMart fits. The delta on how much added vehicular traffic a WalMart adds is not a very large increase over what is currently going thru the intersection today.

The_triplefake_Brandon_Eley
The_triplefake_Brandon_Eley

@mavdog I drive east to west through that intersection every morning.  It is bookended by two school zones and is a long and drawn out part of my commute when school is in session.  Adding a wal-mart will not improve the situation.  

N_Dallas_dude
N_Dallas_dude

Don't you think maybe that's why people live there in the first place?  Now you're advocating injecting huge amounts of traffic and making it less desirable.  Less desirable means people like me (educated, hard working, employed, dedicated citizen) just move on to sachse or frisco or mckinney or down the road.  Now you're left w/ Garland or grand prairie or Arlington.  Remember when Arlington use to be a nice part of DFW?  What happened when it became one big commerical center.  Not so nice anymore.

N_Dallas_dude
N_Dallas_dude

Just a bit of an exagerration don't you think? 

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...