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North Dallas Neighbors Fighting New Wal-Mart Supercenter

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NORTH DALLAS (CBS 11 NEWS) – A familiar fight is brewing in far North Dallas — neighbors are organizing to keep out a proposed Walmart Supercenter at the corner of Arapaho and Coit. But, in a fight with the world’s largest retailer, this time, neighbors have even fewer weapons in the arsenal.

“The city development code says if the store comes in at 100,000 square feet or larger, then they need council approval,” says Dallas City Councilmember Sandy Greyson. “This store is coming in at 92,000 square feet, so they don’t need city council approval.”

Still, Greyson is working with neighbors determined to discourage the retailer from building a ‘downsized’ supercenter so near where they already have several other stores.

“I just think it’s unnecessary,” says Haley Starkey, who lives in the area. “We have several other Walmarts in the area within reasonable distance. I don’t think it’s necessary, with our neighborhood Walmart just across the way.”

Other homeowners are worried about the increased congestion.

“I think the traffic that it will create will be horrible,” says Ann Richardson, “and Coit is already an extremely busy street.”

Joe Youssef owns the gas station on the opposite corner of the proposed site. He says he’s against the proposed Supercenter—but, not because it will cost him his customers.

“They want to buy a beer or chips, in and out—even if they sell beer and wine there, people don’t want to stay in line for 30 minutes.” Youssef says he’s concerned because of the increased congestion.

Dorothy Wernsman has been organizing neighbors to protest the big box retailer. More than 2,000 have signed a petition she started at Change.org asking the retailer to stay away. Angry neighbors are vowing to shop elsewhere if the store is built.

“We’ve already been talking about where else we will shop,” says Wernsman, “and what small businesses in the area we can support instead.”

Wernsman acknowledges that taking on the world’s largest retailer is no small task—but, believes homeowners are committed and will have longer memories than WalMart may expect. She’s convinced that homeowners will boycott the store if it is built.

“I don’t believe it will be successful,” says Wernsman, “and then we’ll have another big empty box in the neighborhood.”

Still, there are other homeowners who say with money tight, they’re looking for low prices—wherever they can find them.

Walmart officials did not respond to a request for comment.

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