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Proposed Carrollwood Walmart Neighborhood Market denied in 6-0 vote

3:04 PM, Jan 15, 2013   |    comments
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Video: Carrollwood residents wage battle against proposed Walmart


Carrollwood, Florida -- A proposed Walmart Neighborhood Market and Wawa convenience store was denied by Hillsborough County commissioners in a 6-0 vote during a morning Land Use meeting.

Commissioner Les Miller, Jr. was not present.

While Walmart's representation reminded the commission it's not a "popularity contest," the motion to deny was based on the commissioners opinions that the proposal does not comply with future land use elements.

Commissioner Al Higginbotham warned the issue could wind up in the court system if Walmart chooses to fight the denial.

The proposal asked to rezone the property at Floyd Road and North Dale Mabry from a mixed use that includes 17,000 feet of retail to 48,000 square feet of retail.

It also proposed a traffic light at North Dale Mabry and Floyd Road which homeowners adamantly opposed.

So many Carrollwood residents from the surrounding community came out to fight the proposal, more than 50 watched in a back flow room.

A grassroots effort began last spring when they learned of the proposed project. Homeowners formed the group 813 CARE (Carrollwood against Re-Zoning).

The 6-0 vote was met with a round of applause from the homeowners.

"Just to know the commissioners heard us and they understand that it wasn't just about an emotional 'NO,' it was about there are very valid reasons why this is incompatible use for our neighborhood, so they listened. We'll be disappointed if it goes to the courts, but that's Walmart's decision and we'll be there to follow it all the way through," said Leah Wooten, President of the Cedar Hollow Condo Association, one of many neighborhoods near the proposed site.

When asked how they'll proceed, Walmart reps told 10 News they are still committed to the site. As far as their next step, we were told it will be the decision of the landowners and Walmart.

Earlier Report: 

Tampa, Florida -- The fight over a proposed Walmart Neighborhood Market at Floyd Road and North Dale Mabry is waging on in the Carrollwood area.

Dressed in red and wearing 'I Voted' stickers as a subtle message, more than 50 homeowners who live near the proposed store loaded a bus this morning and headed downtown for a last fight against the development during a county Land Use meeting.

The county Planning Commission is recommending county commissioners approve the project to the dismay of homeowners like Mickey and Joe Burton who live four lots away from the proposed site.

The main concern for the homeowners is traffic along the relatively quiet Floyd Road.

"We have a lovely pastoral neighborhood and we see the end of that and that's disturbing," said Mickey Burton, who has lived in the same house since 1976.

Her husband is also upset about a gas station going in so close to their home.

"A gas station right across from $500,000 or $600,000 homes is unbelievable," said Joe Burton.

The current proposal includes a 45,000 square foot Walmart Neighborhood Market and 6,100 square foot Wawa store and gas pumps.

It's estimated the development will bring in 4,700 more vehicle trips per day to that area.

Follow 10 News Reporter Laura Byrne on twitter @lbyrne10news

Traffic that Jennifer Fritch says Floyd Road cannot handle.

"It's residential up and down the whole street, bus stops, children, no sidewalks, just a quiet road and it really cannot warrant this type of traffic," said Fritch.

She added, "We already have problems with cut through traffic with traffic calming devices installed in 2008. Walmart had offered to add more traffic calming devices, we have more than any neighborhood in the county. We cannot take anymore traffic calming devices."

The Planning Commission that is recommending the approval of the project states in its report that the area can handle the traffic.

The proposal also calls for a 8 foot screening wall along Floyd Road, shorter lamp posts with LED lights to minimize light spillage, saving 5 grand oaks on the site and relocating three others.

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