On Aug. 13, Russellville voters will get to decide if a Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market is built in their hometown.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. of Bentonville would like to build a 42,000-SF Neighborhood Market at West Main and South Vancouver streets, and is even under contract to purchase 8.82 acres of land to do so. In April, the Russellville City Council approved an ordinance to rezone the property as a planned unit development (PUD) to accommodate concerns over the site’s potential uses.
More: View the full ordinance here (PDF).
But about a month after the city council voted 6-2 for the zoning ordinance, a group called Skyline Joint Venture LLC filed documents with the Arkansas Ethics Commission creating a ballot question committee and challenging the measure. It collected more than 800 signatures and successfully forced the referendum.
Increased traffic and the store’s proximity to a residential neighborhood have been cited as concerns. But there might be another issue at play for the opposition group: competition. State records show that Skyline Joint Venture owns a shopping center about a mile west of the proposed Wal-Mart site that includes a Cash Saver grocery store, which would face new competition should the Neighborhood Market open. Click here to read the full story from our partners at ArkansasBusiness.com.