Norman votes yes to third Walmart despite outcry from residents
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) —
Norman's city council has voted rezone an industrial site to a commercial one, making way for a new Walmart Super Center. The decision came in a late night meeting Wednesday that ended at 1 am. The decision has the community divided.
"Walmart is controversial," said councilman Robert Castleberry.
People are upset because they believe this third Walmart will bring more traffic, pollution and crime to the city.
"We have children playing outside," said neighbor Jessica Robinson. "We don't want people running through out neighborhood all the time."
People who were at the meeting said they want the intersections around the site to be made safer. Castleberry understands the concerns of the residents and said plans are in place to fix traffic issues. Construction on the new Walmart won't begin until some of those road projects are complete.
The councilman told FOX25 the city is trying to keep sales tax dollars in Norman. He said if Norman didn't say yes the Walmart would have gone to Noble.
"We're two to three years away from really making some critical decisions," said Castleberry. "It would be Norman shoppers all going to Noble. Great thing for Noble but I'm a Norman councilman."
The new Walmart should be complete in 2016.