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'Save Our Neighborhoods' Against Walmart

February 24, 2012, 5:53 PM by Brady Mallory

'Save Our Neighborhoods' Against Walmart
SIOUX FALLS, SD - The future of a third Sioux Falls Walmart store remains up in the air. 

City officials are delaying a decision to rezone part of the land the discounter is eyeing at 69th Street and Cliff Avenue until at least May.  They will hold a planning commission meeting on April 4.

In the meantime, some people living near the site want their neighbors to put pen to petition to stop the store because they say a Walmart does not fit.

"That's a very nice walk when you go from Cliff and 69th and go east there past Sioux Falls Christian. You have ponds there, wildlife. It's a good walk," Darrel Klock with Saving Our Neighborhoods said.

It seems like a quiet neighborhood, but the Saving Our Neighborhoods Group wants to make a lot of noise.

"What we're looking at doing is getting as many as we possibly can to essentially argue with their marketing. They want to market to a five-mile radius.  Our job is to give them a voice and tell them they're not welcome," Schumacher said.

Group member Tambi White said the proposed site is too small to support a big-box store. She pointed out traffic from Sioux Falls Christian Schools is bad enough and adding more threatens not only the environment, but her young daughter's safety.

"We have to be a voice for our kids and for other people who don't have a voice," White said.

The week-old group started with a few people discussing their concerns at a local restaurant. As it grows, members want huge numbers to make a statement about what their neighborhood can handle.

"If you're looking at a smaller retailer, it's obviously not going to generate the type of traffic a big-box retailer is going to generate. It's also not going to generate the amount of crime that a big-box retailer is going to generate," Schumacher said.

Spreading the word and collecting signatures might just be the beginning. You might even see some protests against building a Walmart a stone's throw from backyards. It could all depend if group members feel their voices are heard.

"Well, I believe there is some election coming up. I don't know.  If I were a city leader, I would look into this if I wanted to be re-elected," White said.

Saving Our Neighborhoods is holding a public signing on Sunday at the FCA building on the northwest corner of 69th Street and Cliff Avenue starting at 1 p.m.

You can find out more or get involved by emailing savingourneighborhoods@gmail.com.

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