Wal-mart Moving to Sandfly - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

10/16/02

Wal-mart Moving to Sandfly

This is what the planned Wal-mart Super Center will look like.

Wal-mart is moving to Sandfly. After a very long and sometimes heated meeting, the Metropolitan Planning Commission finally took a vote and made it official. The same residents who opposed Target came out in full force to oppose the building, pointing out possible problems with parking, noise, and traffic in the area. But this small group of people was no match for the Wal-mart Super Center, and the MPC made its final vote unanimously.

Today, resident James Miller looked at the development site.

"All those trees and everything you see, hopefully behind there will be Wal-mart," he said.

Save our Sandfly signs still dot the streets, but the small group's voice wasn't loud enough.

"We're relieved, we're happy, we just want to start building to serve our customers in the area," said Wal-mart's Mike Driver.

Miller says residents' concerns have not been lifted. They say this retail giant will crowd the small neighborhood, with increasing traffic, noise and people. But not everyone is opposed. Some residents across the street want the new neighbors, and Miller says people in the community will shop there.

"They'll go," he said. "We have nothing against Wal-mart, we were basically talking about the impact of the size of the development there."

But Miller says the fight isn't over and if it's up to them, Wal-mart will not be opening their doors next fall.

"A lawsuit will be the normal legal thing to do, but there may be other options to keep this out," he said.

County Commissioner John McMasters says he wants to make sure the county is following and enforcing the laws when it comes to this issue, and it will definitely be discussed at the next meeting, so this story is far from over.

Wal-mart representative Mike Driver said the company was "really happy and excited that we can move forward."

If there are no lawsuits filed and plans go accordingly, Wal-mart says it plans to open its doors in fall of 2003.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro

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