Hillsborough Commission vote against Walmart plans - WFLA News Channel 8

Hillsborough Commission vote against Walmart plans for Carrollwood

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For months, Carrollwood residents have protested. They say Walmart's plans for a neighborhood market and 24-hour gas station would ruin their neighborhood.  So they took that message to the Hillsborough county commission and urged them to deny Walmart's rezoning proposal.

Walmart wants more than 47,000 square feet of commercial space on the northwest corner of Dale Mabry Highway and Floyd Road.

They also want a new traffic light that residents are against.

"I  am not being extreme when I say this rezoning would not only change the character of Carroll. It would seriously degrade it," said Leah Wooten, Carrollwood resident.

So many Walmart opponents showed up, that about 50 people had to watch the meeting from another room.

Walmart representatives insisted they've done everything by the books.

"Your county staff has recommended approval of this, your planning commission has recommended approval. Our planner has found it's consistent with the comprehensive plan," said an attorney for Walmart.

"When I'm rendering my decision today, it's not based on public opinion," said Kevin Beckner, Hillsborough County Commissioner.

In the end, all six commissioners present voted against the rezoning proposal.

"I don't believe that the development is compatible with the surrounding use. I do believe this will have a severe negative impact on the surrounding the community," said Mark Sharpe, Hillsborough County Commissioner.

Residents were happy their voices were heard.

"Man it was just a great feeling. It kind of renews my faith in local government and the process," said Greg Scott, Carrollwood resident.

It isn't likely this fight is over, though. Wal-mart is expected to bring the issue to court, and if that happens, it could wind up right back here, in front of the commission. And if that happens, these residents say they will be back.

"Unless they come back with a much less intense use of this property, we just don't see how we can come to a common ground," said Leah Wooten, Carrollwood resident.

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