Organic Consumers Association

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Opposition To New Wal-Mart Plan Strong Showing at Meeting

Nancy Jensen and her neighbors in the Enchanted Hills subdivision in south Rapid City hope a strong showing at tonight's Rapid City council meeting convinces council members they are "quite serious" about opposition to building a Wal-Mart Supercenter along U.S. Highway 16 near their homes.

"It's a very big intrusion into our neighborhood," Jensen said. "The impact of just the traffic itself is going to be tremendous."

The council will decide tonight whether to accept or reject the city planning commission's denial of a rezone and land-use plan amendment for a less-than-half-acre triangle of property along the east side of the proposed store.

Jensen said she and people who live in Enchanted Hills, located east of the site across a steep, wooded ravine, are not opposed to Wal-Mart building a store somewhere in southern Rapid City.

But they believe the current spot - and its accompanying increased noise, traffic, lights and around-the-clock activity - will hurt their neighborhood.

She said homeowners were told several years ago that there could be some offices or commercial businesses built in that area. Neighbors would not oppose that kind of activity, she said.

But a 200,000-square-foot big box retailer just doesn't fit, she said.

"It doesn't fit the property, it doesn't fit the neighborhood, and it doesn't fit as the gateway to the Black Hills," Jensen said.

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