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Decatur residents to speak out about Walmart at Feb. 23 Community Forum | Business

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Decatur residents to speak out about Walmart at Feb. 23 Community Forum

DECATUR --  (submitted by Good Growth Dekalb) Walmart has plans of opening a location in The Surburban Plaza in Decatur.  This has stirred a most vocal contingent of residents that are against this proposal and are fighting the coming of Walmart.  Below is their latest release:

Neighbors of Suburban Plaza Shopping Center will have their first clear opportunity to "have their say" at a Community Forum hosted by Good Growth DeKalb on Thursday, Feb 23 at 7:00 p.m. at North Decatur Presbyterian Church (611 Medlock Road, at the Corner of Medlock and North Decatur Roads). The goal of the meeting is for residents of the city of Decatur and neighborhoods surrounding Suburban Plaza, where Selig Enterprises has proposed building a 149,000 square foot Walmart Supercenter, to weigh in on the development and share their vision for better community development.

Good Growth DeKalb was formed after two meetings were held by Walmart and Selig late last year. Good Growth Dekalb advocates were united over concerns that Selig had secretly been meeting  with elected officials, and that, broader neighborhood concerns were not taken into account by Walmart, the developer,  or by DeKalb County Government. Citizens learned in the meetings that discussions had taken place with DeKalb officials for over 6 months prior to their knowlege.

At the Community Forum, a three-person panel will to help address questions and concerns from the audience:

·        Louise Runyon, Medlock neighborhood resident and Good Growth DeKalb community leader;

·        Donald Stack of Stack & Associates, a member of Good Growth DeKalb’s legal team; and

·        Russell Edwards of People for a Better Athens, who is fighting a Selig/Walmart development proposed for downtown Athens, Georgia.

The forum will be moderated by Mike Koblentz, chair of the Northwest Community Alliance, and a key player in neighborhood negotiations during the development of the Howell Mill Walmart.

"This is the first real opportunity homeowners and neighbors will have to voice their concerns and share the vision they have for the local economy," said area resident Robert Blondeau.    

Good Growth DeKalb conducted four successful rallies at the three-way intersection of North Decatur, Medlock and Scott Boulevard where Suburban Plaza is located. The rallies were held on successive Fridays starting January 20 to bring attention to the development and highlight one of the chief concerns about the development: an increase in traffic at an already-congested intersection, which also happens to serve three area hospitals. Each rally brought out about 40 members of the community, sometimes in the pouring rain. GGD efforts also raised $4000 to hire attorneys to conduct a legal review of the development.

Group organizers say that they hope the community forum will provide an additional opportunity for neighborhood residents to voice their concerns and opinions, since previous meetings on the development were dominated by presentations by Selig and Walmart.