Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Edmond Homeowners Try to Block New Wal-Mart

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Edmond Homeowners Try to Block New Wal-Mart

Article excerpt

A group of Edmond homeowners took steps Wednesday to block development of a new Wal-Mart store along Interstate 35, saying the city has not conducted a proper review of the impact the development might have on neighboring waterways.

In a lawsuit filed by the Fox Lake Homeowners Association, the group said a proposed Wal-Mart development at the northwest corner of 15th Street and I-35 in Edmond has not received necessary review by the city. The homeowners' group is asking the Oklahoma County District Court to halt any excavation, grading, leveling or tree removal on the property until the city conducts a review of the Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan for the site.

Edmond officials said no review is necessary at the current stage of development.

"Unless the city does something about it, Wal-Mart's people will be out there cutting trees, digging up the earth and threatening the integrity of Fox Lake, Spring Creek and Lake Arcadia," said Eric Groves, an attorney for the homeowners association.

In court documents filed this week, the homeowners group asked District Judge Carolyn Ricks to issue a peremptory Writ of Mandamus, a legal step to halt the development work until the dispute is resolved. Attorneys in the case met with the district judge Wednesday and scheduled a hearing for 2 p.m. Wednesday to take up the issue.

In the meantime, Groves said the judge made no ruling that would prevent developers from continuing work on the proposed Wal-Mart site.

Officials representing Wal-Mart were not immediately available for comment about the new store. One real estate professional familiar with the project, however, said Wal-Mart is making plans to build a store that will exceed design and appearance standards found in its traditional retail sites.

Engineers hired by Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores have begun clearing trees from a portion of the wooded development site to enable vehicles to access the property and take core samples. The testing is necessary before further development of the site can occur.

The neighborhood group said it wants to ensure that work on the development site does not result in sediment discharge into Fox Lake or into any of the tributaries that feed Lake Arcadia. …

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