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Nearby Neighbors Not Impressed By Walmart Plan Updates

June 3, 2013, 10:04 PM by Kelly Bartnick

Nearby Neighbors Not Impressed By Walmart Plan Updates
SIOUX FALLS, SD -

Walmart has updated its plan for a proposed store in South Sioux Falls. The retailer wants to build one of two proposed supercenters at 85th Street and South Minnesota Avenue in Sioux Falls.

In a letter submitted to the city, a Walmart official said the updates take nearby neighborhood concerns into consideration. A major change is a proposed alternative entrance to the development east of the original entrance point along South Audie Avenue.

Bonita Schwan lives at 85th Street and South Audie. Her opposition hasn’t changed now that the access road has moved east.

“Yes, they did bump it down there, but what is not showing is the huge Walmart sign that will be down there,” Schwan said. “Our homes are in cement. They're right here. And we need to move slowly and we need to be fair and we need to be heard.”

Other proposed changes include updates like brick exterior accents and other updated outside aesthetics. Walmart also traded out large above ground signs for lower-profile monument signs in its plan.

Dana Palmer with ‘Save Our Neighborhoods” says the retailer didn’t address major concerns – store size and hours.

“If you're only trying to serve Southern Sioux Falls, a much smaller store, a market-sized store that's not open 24-hours will do the job. That's what we want. That's what fits in the area,” Palmer said.

“Walmart refused to budge on our most important issues, which are 24 hours access it would be open and the size,” said Schwan.

The retailer said it would ban 24 hour camping in the parking lot and strictly enforce its “no idling” policy to delivery drivers. Palmer said the group has asked the planning commission to defer the vote pending a full review of a traffic study released just last week.

“I think it's important we be afforded the opportunity to have an independent consultant take a look at it and give their opinion on if it's accurate or right or if they disagree,” Palmer said.

The Sioux Falls Planning Commission will take up the issue at 6 p.m. on Wednesday.

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