Wal Mart Opponents Face Hurdle - KXNet.com - Bismarck/Minot/Williston/Dickinson-KXNEWS,ND

Wal Mart Opponents Face Hurdle

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Plans for a second Super WalMart location in Northwest Minot are nearly in place...all that remains is a vote by the City Council this Monday.

But that vote looks like it will be tight.

Many residents in the area where the big box store wants to build are against it -- and they hope to win a battle against a zoning change that would stop the project.

Perry Olson talked with a member of that citizen group Tuesday about their efforts.

(Mark Brown - NW Minot Resident) "We are not opposed to growth on North Hill. We are a part of that growth. But we are opposed to huge retail centers in residential areas."

And that is what is planned according to Brown. A retail center too big to be so close to homes. Super WalMart is looking for final zoning approval this Monday at the City Council meeting...but it won't come without a fight from many who live here. An official written protest by residents failed to reach a level needed to require 11 votes for passage at the council, so it will only take 8 votes Monday.

(Mark Brown - NW Minot Resident) "We think it will be close...but no, we aren't confident in anything. They will vote how they feel and we hope they listen and grow the city smartly."

And doing it in a smart way he feels would include increased infrastructure upgrades not planned now.

(Mark Brown - NW Minot Resident) "If you think about it, this would be the only major retail project in Minot that isn't on a four lane road. There aren't any four lanes roads around here nor are there any plans to four lane any of them."

There is a concern this street -- Sunset Blvd -- would be used as a main route to get to the new Super WalMart...taking heavy levels of traffic through highly residential areas. Other roads in are two lane, like 21st Avenue...and the bypass.

(Mark Brown - NW Minot Resident) "One of the two lane roads is the bypass where we encourage trucks to drive at 55 mph to get around the city...we encourage it yet to support this project we have to put a stoplight on that bypass. Just recently a similar bypass, a county commissioner called it a 'death trap'. We are sort of going against what we tried to do on this bypass."

Brown and others hope to stop the plan as currently constructed...and it may be close. At its first passage, it got exactly 8 votes in favor...and it will need that again Monday to bring WalMart here. In NW Minot, Perry Olson, KX News.

Both WalMart and the neighborhood committee have been meeting with aldermen and women this month trying to swing the vote in their favor.

The final tally should be known Monday night.

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