Sandfly Sam's Club Approved - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/17/05

Sandfly Sam's Club Approved

The site of the future Sam's Club. The site of the future Sam's Club.

First Target, then Wal-Mart, and now Sam's Club. All wanted to set up shop in Sandfly. Target backed down when neighbors opposed. Wal-Mart kept fighting and won. Now Sam's is coming. Chatham's Metropolitan Planning Commission approved the plan. Again, over protests.

Many people weren't too happy. Many of us remember Sandfly residents being upset when Wal-Mart moved into their neighborhood a while back, and now with this latest decision, many of them feel they are being ignored

The future location of Sam's Club, a gas station, and a car wash is right next to sister store Super Wal-Mart.

"It's inappropriate for the neighborhood," said Sidney Nutting. "That little community is overwhelmed."

Several Sandfly residents voiced their concerns over yet another mega store moving in yesterday. Their biggest concern is more traffic congestion.

"I think if they leave Sam's Club and Wal-Mart open, it'll make it worse out here," said resident Scott Kirchman.

After more than an hour of debate yesterday afternoon, the MPC approved the plan.

But not everyone is upset about their newest neighbor, which Sandfly resident Jamie Sherman said "brings jobs to Savannah which are desperately needed."

Wal-Mart officials say more than 100 of their associates are Sandfly residents. "They see the Wal-Mart and how it's serving the community, and how Wal-Mart gives back," said the store's Glen Wilkins.

But some Sandfly residents say they are being ignored by the county, which keeps approving plans to add to their tiny community

"This was supposed to be in keeping with the neighborhood," said Nutting. "It's certainly not in keeping with the neighborhood."

Wal-Mart officials tells us the next step is getting permits for the store. After that, it will only take eight months to build the store.

Reported by: Hena Daniels, hdaniels@wtoc.com

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