CARROLLWOOD, Florida - More than a hundred homeowners gathered at the Hillsborough County Zoning Master Hearing Monday night to fight against a proposed development project that includes a Walmart Neighborhood Grocery Store.
The residents all dressed in red shirts and told the hearing master why they don't want the development built. They've collected 3,000 letters of opposition.
The 48,500 square foot proposal is also set to include a Wawa convenience store with gas pumps, and a traffic light at the intersection of N. Dale Mabry and Floyd Road.
Homeowners have been fighting it for months through petitions and protests. Their main concern is the traffic, which they believe will increase and lead to congestion and more drivers cutting through their neighborhood.
Consultants for Walmart said at peak times the number of trips along Floyd is projected to nearly triple in some cases, but they say it would still be at an acceptable level. County staff also added they don't anticipate a high amount of cut-through traffic.
Walmart project consultants also added they plan on building a concrete barrier wall to lessen any impact on residents.
Apart from traffic, homeowners are also concerned that property values will do down and crime will go up. They don't believe such a development should be built in their neighborhood.
"We are reasonable people. We are not against development. However, it is not reasonable for large retailers to profit at the expense of surrounding residents by affecting our quality of life," said resident Joan Bogs.
Residents are also concerned about eight 100-year-plus grand oak trees that are currently on the site. Walmart reps said five of the trees will be preserved and three will be relocated.
The hearing master has until Nov 5th to make a recommendation to the County Commission. They could decide on the project during a meeting on Dec 11th.