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February 26, 2012 09:59 PM

Hundreds Sign Petition Against Walmart Site

Sioux Falls, SD


Hundreds of homeowners unite to tell the City of Sioux Falls Walmart isn't welcome in their neighborhoods.

The large retailer set its sights on a vacant lot in the south east part of the city to build its third store.

Within minutes of opening the doors Sunday, more than 150 people rally to save their quiet neighborhoods. They line up to sign their names, letting Sioux Falls city leaders know Walmart isn't welcome on the corner of 69th Street and Cliff Avenue.

Todd Sergeant says the retailer's proposed site is too close for comfort.

"We live right across from houses where it would be in their backyard. We would see it right from our driveway, just a few hundred feet away," Sergeant said.

At the Saving Our Neighborhoods meeting, homeowners say their biggest concern is the increased traffic, crime and lower property values.

"Farther down the road, I would be fine with, but that is just right in the neighborhood," Sergeant said.

And while they don't mind developing the empty lot, these protestors say a big box store is not what this area needs.

"It would be a wonderful project for a small store, small shopping mall, for a strip mall or something that might provide some access to stores and products for the neighborhood, but not a Walmart super store," Jack Billion said.

And signers of the petition hope it sends a clear message that they do not want Walmart in their backyard.

"I don't think we've been very vocal in the past. We've just kind of been out here but I think they are going to understand that the south east part of Sioux Falls is alive and well. We care about our community," Dave Hewett said.

Organizers hope to collect 1,000 signatures which will be presented to city leaders at a Planning and Zoning meeting scheduled for Wednesday, April 4 at 7:00 p.m.
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