Proposed new Wal-Mart gets mixed reviews in Russellville

    7:46 PM, Feb 8, 2013   |    comments
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    RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. (KTHV) - Walmart wants to open a Neighborhood Market in Russellville, but there's a catch. It's in a residential area.

    Residents in the area said they are not against Walmart, but many seem puzzled with the idea of putting a building in a residential area. Some businesses will have to move and residents worry if heavy traffic will come along with the large business.

    "The biggest concern is, I believe there's about 66 homes in a mile stretch here, and gosh, many more--a couple hundred more--in these neighborhoods, and the speed is definitely an issue," said Larry Walker who lives near the proposed location at the corner of W. Main Street and South Vancouver Avenue.

    Walker worries if Walmart builds a Neighborhood Market near his home, it could put his children at risk with heavy traffic.

    "Endangerment to the kids, endangerment just backing out of your driveway, just fearful of the safety of your kids," said Walker.

    Russellville City Council continues to mull over whether to rezone the residential area so Walmart can build.

    "I guess what we're trying to do is shave a square peg to make it fit into a round hole," said Alderman Randy Horton.

    Horton said the latest amendment to the plan will require Walmart to meet some of the city's building standards.

    "It's planned unit development, and it's just a tool cities use to make, instead of just straight rezoning with conditions. Once it's agreed to, all parties have to abide by it," said Horton.

    Some of the specific conditions Walmart agreed to include not having a fuel line at the front of the property so the building will be closer to Main Street. They will also have to maintain the property behind the building.

    Horton said the Walmart ordinance will be read again, and he believes there will not be a full council vote on the topic until sometime in March.

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