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Walmart Gets Community Council Approval - Again

The retailing giant still is addressing people's concerns as it restarts the process of seeking the necessary approvals for its proposed Memorial Drive/N. Hairston Road store.

In its on Memorial Drive near N. Hairston Road, Walmart once again got approval from the Community Council Tuesday night at in Stone Mountain.

Next stop: the DeKalb Planning Commission, Jan. 3 at Maloof Auditorium in Decatur, 6:30 p.m.

Here are some issues Community Council members, residents and businesses brought up to Walmart about its plans:

Entrances

There is a proposed Memorial Drive entrance to the store and another, on N. Hairston near the corner of Memorial Drive and across from the entrance to the Kenilworth Estates community, which would have traffic lights. This entrance is being met with worry by some residents of Kenilworth Estates, which Walmart met with this week. One resident proposed a "right turn in, right turn out" at the entrance of its subdivision, which is county property, in an effort to keep people from driving through their neighborhood; Walmart reps said it would support such a measure and help out financially. Update: This section of the article has been updated to reflect the correct ownership of the property of the proposed right-in, right-out at Kenilworth.

Hall's

Ken Hall of asked how much business he would lose as a result of Walmart --- whose reps recently took about an hour-long tour of Hall's -- potentially moving down the street from his family's decades-old business.

"You sell a lot of specialty items," said Walmart spokesman Glen Wilkins, who said the proposed store's garden center would be small and include wheelbarrows, birdseed, bird feeders and the like. "I don't see us selling special items."

RV Parking

A member of the community council asked about overnight RV parking on the Walmart lot, mentioning cases of, and concern about, RV occupants dumping out their raw sewage. "If anybody's dumping raw sewage, we're going to go after them," Wilkins said. said. But if the community wants a restriction on overnight RV parking, "We're fine with that," he said.

Trucks

Trucks will enter and exit onto Lauren Parkway. There would be approximately 6-8 trucks a day, Wilkins said.

Underground retention pond

There was concern raised about the long-term maintenance of the proposed undergound retention pond. Walmart said there is a division that provides "continual maintenance."

Crime

A Community Council member brought up the issue of how Walmart would address the area's crime, and crime prevention. "We have an asset protection team, cameras placed strategically inside and outside. We have darn close to a zero tolerance for shoplifting," Wilkins said.

Rob Marcoccia December 23, 2011 at 02:18 PM
Thank you for reporting on the community meeting with Walmart. I would like to point out a couple of discrepancies. The first concerns the Kenilworth Estates entrance. The proposed right in / right out is on county property and does not belong to Kenilworth Estates. The second issue is in regards to crime. I appreciate Glen Wilkins taking the time to meet with community but the point of issue in not with internal theft at Walmart but the resulting crime in the parking lot. There have been no promises of security patrols. We are also concerned with the over taxing of our local police with responses to Walmart crime. If Walmart doesn't provide its own parking lot security patrol, will we, as residents, have to wait longer for police response to our calls?
Leslie Johnson December 23, 2011 at 03:27 PM
Thank you for clarifying the property issue and for your comments. I will update the story. Perhaps the security issue you mentioned will come up at the PRISM meeting in January. If you're planning to attend I look forward to meeting you again. Please feel free to e-mail me also: Leslie.Johnson@patch.com.

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