Jun 20, 2014|
Wal-Mart – do you love 'em or hate 'em? NO East welcomed a new Walmart with open arms for badly needed shopping and job creation to their community. Conversely, residents in an area south of Covington have a completely different attitude by opposing a new Walmart, which they consider a "monstrosity" that will blight a quiet, residential area with increased traffic congestion, drainage and social problems. Guest host Don Dubuc was joined by Aurelia Marek, President of Citizens for Balanced Development and Sandra Slifer, President of League of Women Voters of Louisiana.
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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)
This hour we sought to show off without yet another saint Tammany parish topic. Seems to be saint Tammany is had the spotlight and a lot of issues this one I'm calling a tale of two Wal-Mart cities. You might recall last week there wore a ribbon cuttings in big celebrations. In welcoming in a new Wal-Mart location to New Orleans east. I needed bring him badly needed shopping opportunities. People's they are saying they couldn't get groceries they had to drive. Either the Slidell or another part of town to do their shopping also creating some job opportunities. Well conversely residents in an area south of covering them. Pretty much are completely different attitude there are opposing a new Wal-Mart. It's been called by some of the opponents a monstrosity. That will blight a quiet residential area with. The things that normally associated with the creation of big box stores increased traffic congestion drainage. And possibly some social issues soul -- to weigh in on that fact that is that some give up ready opinion poll question. Wal-Mart you'll love him. Like they do a noisy city or hate him like -- if they hate him but they certainly don't welcome them into certain areas including. Saint Tammany parish Covington area along -- to road off of interstate twelve are right now it's 63%. Say they love and of and 38% saying they hate him where do you stand you can cast that vote. Or on any of our polls and by going to our web page at WW well not count. All right stage is set let's get on the show -- introduce -- really America is Sandra slifer. And Aurilia is the president of citizens for a balanced development really is thank you for and talking with -- -- really appreciate it. If you were -- really what I like to do is let people know all about the organizations that we have people representing them so if you would tell us about citizens. But balanced development. I'm so different for balanced development as a nonprofit corporation and bat what's. Or I'm in 2012. To help prevent a big pop star I'm -- and content are to blame residential road but it cheers. Our neighborhood it's composed of about 215. Of the resident and as well as the surrounding areas Atlanta I'm around Brewster wrote. So this organization was specifically created for this one particular issue correct. Yes that would do the markets are excited about it. There's a lot open elbow room on dirt road and the surrounding area and you know -- county as. And large it's growing park and saint Hammond in and so we knew that we are going need to be educated in an arm and ordered to. Realistically look at what kind of lifestyle that we want -- and that there. Understood also joining us is someone who probably doesn't need an introduction that we've always got new listeners and people in the may be tuning in for the first time new area residents to the area so. The president of the League of Women Voters of Louisiana's saint Tammany Sandra -- joins us he's also with the women of infinite possibilities Sandra thanks -- being with -- and you're active in him and -- many issues there and we. If you on occasion you always very. Accommodating to come on where this if you would tell us about your organization. Well I think -- so much that. Yeah -- -- -- League of Women Voters. The is an organization that celebrating its 94 year. It would -- me the people to work that there -- involved in public policy advocacy. Yeah can't go to education issues how Albert in addition to all of those other titles but I can't I also doing. Ultimately activities if that occasion of associations. Now that -- will he has moved out of the immediate area. So that from the coalition. Subdivisions that are located along yet highly twenty lines highlight has -- these savage. I twelve -- and he has so they actually upcoming hearing regarding the effort. But the League of Women Voters think Yemeni apparently involved in. This project -- unity are destruction of the that would that would stop the project would -- as. Also -- allowed our audience know Leo we did invite parish councilman Marty dean who's this is in his district in. I he had another commitment he was not able to to join us. -- so what's at stake here is a developer is looking for the permits in the approvals that he needs from federal state and local governments to build -- 1181000. Plus. Wal-Mart on long Brewster -- which is located south of Covington. If one of the other -- could explain may be catches up on this issue came up before when they would developing that shopping service located at the intersection of highway 21. And I twelve which is very close to that. There was a lot of opposition about putting -- Wal-Mart in there and actually it was a -- it was not going to be built and maybe you could kind of refresh our memories on what went on there. To unveil what a a lot it's filed. -- a couple of years ago -- -- Barack is you know 2000 fathers to company 2009 timeframe. That. Yeah I was Margaret Tammany. -- that there were a number of other organizations and individuals trying to kind of eloped data and I. Or a couple of the year that we your show you aren't trying to talking about it. -- -- there was -- probably reached before the Court of Appeals could. -- it's their decision. And the depth that. Part of that's probably. You know basically said that there could not be a Wal-Mart. Or any other big box type store liking Wal-Mart built over at the colonial pinnacle. Our shopping tanner being -- -- line that he and I twelve. -- -- we're talking about is currently dislocated very close. To -- to to colonial pinnacle. As well -- river chase. Yes we have to. Huge. Retail. Development -- cult supercenters. That are located. The nearest residential area. -- so. What is this specific. Argument about the Wal-Mart going in here is you know we talked about me you know maybe some drainage problems traffic congestion. Today how is this going to be situated as far as the proximity and access in and off the interstate will the traffic -- actually -- Through Brewster wrote I'm I'm very familiar with the -- it's irregular path -- take to get to a I'm very precious wetland areas south of their that I go to so I know this area it's gorgeous is a lot of big oak trees and then is very quiet area and certainly. To have 1181000. Square foot Wal-Mart would certainly change things but basically what is the objection to having this Wal-Mart come in. Well it. It's really not just about Wal-Mart is about anything -- about responsible and appropriate sound pretty area. There are. Five neighborhoods. Back but single access on and -- that -- lets multiple home along. There also is a -- like and we currently struggle in the scenario where flooding out ready. And proposed Wal-Mart is wetland. And so we -- emirates had not known this during wetlands act contributing to that solution and chemical. Pollution around that area as well as increasing our slot. Is there any things that the development could do it may be in making some concessions alterations to you know help with the infrastructure as far as putting in. Access may be that might come off the interstate from what I'm understanding -- the ingress -- -- egress out of this would be. Via the highway 21 exit or the 1077. -- I guess -- -- 77 exit. And then come actually on to Brewster wrote it wouldn't be directly off the interstate Horry service rolled all fall that would. -- know. The way that the proposed. Site is right now the only entrance and at an odd Q and opt out. Both interest in connection with the proposed -- are. -- from Brewster wrote. I'm just disappointed in torrents from and 77 non director wrote is paying contracts signed. From the large trucks can -- gathered infrastructure does not adjust -- a court that man trapped expect gonna go there. -- they're probably looking at Indy is and increasing. The infrastructure from and I. Highway 21 in trend for the tracks and the amount of cars that are coming into about Wal-Mart. Are there any plans all presentations. At the developer has made or may be restrictions that saint Tammany. Parish government require them to do that would satisfy you to as long as they took care of though -- off from the water in the drainage in in in you know did the roads up right where it would be able -- amount of traffic in the size of the trucks that would be necessary to come in there. To see what appears could you were aboard the Department of Transportation development. Because of where operate interpreted located at. If this is one of those situations where. Carol and numerous propositions. Can't hold tight have already -- and built -- You know that theory has already been countless potential. That they came out of -- huge. There's a huge number of historical trees that are already in the area they say that they -- the broad as much as they are able to lighten the road. You know bad. Yeah -- -- Will hold already being built it's it's brilliant case where. Tell me. Yelled out port collapse that aren't a long time ago what do these propositions were approved. Opt to be constructed -- -- round. Thinking about an issue in saint Tammany parish permits of being sought to build a -- Wal-Mart long Bruce the road which is a narrow two lane road just south of I twelve fund of the Covington area. The residents there are opposed to it finding it on non a zoning issue basically that it would not the a suitable Larry for big box stores to locate from phone numbers -- points. With this is a really American also Sandra -- we did contact Marty dean who was the saint Tammany parish councilman whose district this is in. -- tennis a letter saying he would not be available but he did have a comment on -- he said that the Wal-Mart store needs to go through many different permit applications. Such as traffic impact analysis wetlands and others I am on record as saying now I'm very concerned. About what impact the storm that size could have on the area. Of such a beautiful road as -- the road that is from morning team. -- a -- of reach a couple of comments that are coming in now one says hopefully those running to Wal-Mart. In the east won't have people working off the clock is wal mart's been known to do. The wall and -- in Covington two totally different worlds in Bloomington Indiana they let Wal-Mart come in but pushed it way out west. Only those who need the Wal-Mart go to the Wal-Mart. Please play some fishing music while I will be tomorrow for the efficient if you stick on the output is another one that says if you don't -- Wal-Mart stock shopping at Covington Wal-Mart would help the 190 traffic. Another says people on the North Shore need to give a little you don't want fracking now you don't want Wal-Mart. You got no problem come into the -- sure to cause more traffic and problems by our homes. And another one says you people laugh soul. Beat you so sure because of the same issues you -- dealing with now traffic crowding etc. Get over. Ladies as we've we just have a couple of minutes before news but basically. Is this from stored needed them isn't a Wal-Mart one exit away and seem like that coming to -- what that was mentioned in that text. They would almost compete with the -- -- -- on many other regional. Options that people of all over the theory I guess there's not a problem and less than five miles away if there's a Wal-Mart market. Just down the street from there -- they -- him. -- -- -- I'll let the memorial where they're wanting to build this proposed Wal-Mart. Different target they heir apparent academy here. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- These grocery stores people are. Not. Lacking in wheat field twice her there are plenty of places for people to shop already. Including Ellen ports that are Bible it. Well you know it's a totally different situation over and you'll disease to mean they welcome them with open -- Melamine and didn't have any place to shop people and have been able to get clothes and groceries -- brought. Approximately 300 jobs to the -- event. A different situation in Covington and I guess it raises the larger question of -- has some of these text comments that are coming in. Does a community have the the right to control its own destiny should the rest of -- be able to determine what exactly the face of their community looks like joining uses. A really America she is with the us citizens for balanced development and organization and as opposed to development of any big box store in -- for number of reasons. -- considering the problems that might cause with drainage in traffic congestion. And now basically changing the face of a residential -- not properly zone for a the big retail store also Sandra -- who's the president of the League of Women Voters of Louisiana and the saint Tammany she's also with women. -- infinite possibilities. Here's a couple more of the text that are coming in. This once it's. And there's an academy Texas road house hobby lobby and on the stand the difference of box stores now and would rather. Eight at Ruth's Chris but they kept Wal-Mart out so now he's Texas road house it's commercial properties something will go there. Malveaux -- says that goal Wal-Mart go fracking I live runoff Brewster wrote. Can't -- issue of the Gaza -- chart she doesn't does not. Here's another one I agree that a community so the question as front wheel and -- I agree that a community has the right to set the face but this sounds a lot like discrimination. Not sure what. That discrimination would be there another one says -- -- on the residences in Slidell were opposed to Wal-Mart on Robert boulevard. We had several meetings -- represented of the topic never came up again this week they broke ground. On it not even considering -- traffic concerns or delivery eakins it's all about the tax dollars for its. 2601878668890870. If you would like Tricia join in the conversation -- has been very patient polling on Moscow to Keith and Kim and Keith thank you for calling in your -- with. Are really Americans and a -- They got out on the won't. Let them. We want me in the comical but it hasn't been not been discussed before about examining. One thing they complain that they they are having a job so when somebody wants to build out there. Whatever you bring doubts judiciary whatever. Date you know -- did they all they did more. Accurate wanna I wanna build it. And it and make it. Are really a central is there have been an outcry for jobs and is this an issue really over jobs or is it that this area is just not. Infrastructure wise set up to handle what their proposed. And I I don't know -- the topic I had water -- -- -- that radiates and saint Tammany but I believe that it varies eerie glow brightly now. He and they had to there hasn't been actually cried for a job that many of the retail stores are already here frequently finds out. There's stores they -- they're looking for people to to work out there that stores that are already here. -- ladies in autumn we didn't and the tone of some of these tax and I hear people laugh out in the streets saying you know he people in saint Tammany. It is just you know this nimby not in my backyard you want all this stuff. What is your answers to that about you know. Is it you really Donna do the best for you community and duke does a community have -- is right to control its own destiny shouldn't be up to them and not. Some governmental agency your regulations. That forces things in an area where people simply didn't move there for that reason. You know it really about planning environment for the future -- -- community -- and we -- -- one person. You know wetlands destruction and pollution why the property owner happened right Japan has. Stinger coming on existing restaurant and risk losing them wetlands and do -- -- to -- Other than to sit out where residents can play. What what is. This stance now is it is requiring a zoning changes that would of the big issue is right now I know they gonna DEQ and Army Corps of Engineers have to go through and and probably do an environmental impact statement and find out about wetlands and of course in the case of weapons they can always do mitigation where they can purchase weapons. Somewhere else and exchange for sacrificing them somewhere web development or call one. Is owning the major issue that you you're taking on here. Kate said you know I think Yemeni had a pretty comprehensive resounding. That took place several years ago this property your priorities and highly commercial three. Which would allow big box stores located on it says -- that issue regarding. Traffic. Wetlands and water quality. The other infrastructure that would be required in the apparent that it would pay out. Under surrounding Erie that we are hoping will happen is they act. If the valid permit is not issued. Debt they're developed are they. Those properties would be willing to sit down with the president of this eerie the end of the parish. -- stay up into. Come up with page. Eight reasonable. Level campaign act to use -- -- blatant. That would with the development it would actually work out round about went about a third of his twenty acre -- Is wetlands. -- so -- you know if there's something about an office park designed you know that we are you get the weapons would be. Retained on this site that was something of that nature. You know -- -- again I think that the neighbors are really like he -- sit down with the owner. And negotiate. Some sort of development. Gavel stay out of about land and will not. Require. Changing the entire character. This. This neighborhood it and then. You know surely you know the cost of doing the infrastructure. Work. Apple on Brewster wrote but I twelve highly 21 entrance to beat southern. That it would -- something that have smaller footprint. Understood quit talking with a really America's centrists like forward talking about the issue of on developing -- -- big boxed on namely Wal-Mart long Bruce the road near Covington. On the residents there are opposed to that saying it would overburden the infrastructure. Also a loss of wetlands and basically not a good fit for the area however it has been zoned four commercial development as far as what exactly will be announced to be determined. There is a plea. Public comment period which I believe in this -- moral and then and then they'll be making a decision from there. Are really do you feel like you've gotten the support necessary from on the saint Tammany parish government on this so -- behind the residents of the community coincidentally I drove on Bruce the roads Sunday. And I noticed some signs there that one very complimentary about local government as far as they apart in in in helping is the residence. Get their desired. Way here with this issue how do you all feel about it with citizens for balanced development. You know that propelled development have been working right from the start my only real issue issue where it Marty dean and -- -- Marty seen Ali. It the current president has not appropriate -- this and that. There should be no access into battle. But Wal-Mart. -- -- I think that the parties that and illness never stop acting entrances and -- would be in. Opt in and caught on direct. -- we also met with actress here early in the process and pat -- a short match. She was not in accord. This project and at play. And that she would let the parish council and her department know how she felt the now it's not that there again recount development and that's -- I mean we have over or under -- -- a recount battle and here. Not even mention. A large when a tree shopping center at mile what. About the appropriate and -- development. And if there. You know and there are also safety concerns here too that I think are very -- retirement and I'm Marty and director on record for. That. Traffic backing off right straight to the -- and backing up from ten to -- and likely. -- it's -- unsafe conditions. They can wait for that Wal-Mart is on right actor blind turn. On the richter wrote. Well -- I. I just can't imagine the size of the trucks that are necessary to get products and not there and loading and unloading coming down Brewster wrote to get access to lose his it is not workable -- I don't understand -- development could even put a plan ago. It -- not workable I mean and you know if you ask anyone. In the area. You know I think eighty protect what I don't understand why it would go out and they do. Think that earth but then reasoning process and really thought that they would be -- true. Off from time which when he won that would actually aspect property and I think that's probably the only that it ever -- out. Al had to do it again that property would not be found. And who would end up paying for that if there was to be -- -- in off of highway -- when he -- directly into the property. -- -- -- now I -- attack there are let's go to let's take a quick call before the break let's go to Dave he's been hold on for awhile in -- eight -- thank you for the. You aren't -- -- lately you know first ball that don't ever -- really good squad which you -- which you don't want and I'm sure to politicians are several politicians and -- And they're pretty much whatever they want. And the other thing say at Walt -- and as big box stores don't deploy. All it it was put people out of Michael people. Hope people come and -- does -- -- your core hardware stores. Mom and -- that's what made this country mom and pop bit. Mom pops and dictator cousins and nephews that create them good money 7035. Cents a would have been ages. And where they come in the big -- coming in close Obama pot shots and that may be United States what -- -- we have high unemployment as. Intake of -- -- to being part where Stewart and consolidated one store what you don't need. That many people the money. Where -- at -- -- operating. He didn't AO need they may or other people a big box or an employee tore up people and -- accomplish as saying that. And so that's my opinion I don't do business Wal-Mart -- more on Home Depot Lowe's and big box to. The bottom line on the people who make it all those morning all the money should not the mom and pops state bureau this country it's it's it's two guys and or. All stock. Which -- 1%. I'd say thank you for the call I guess that's yet another issues on a separate when the big box stores and good for the economy and not think this is a totally different. Issue here about whether this piece of property is suitable for that type of development we got to take the break you will comebacks if we get -- in got lots of Tex coming in. Well to get to weigh in on operating opinion poll question right now. It's 58%. Say they'll Wal-Mart 42% said they item you want to weigh in on and it's go to. WW Al dot com you'll find it right in the senate debate if I'm understanding this correctly. The federal parliament has to come from the -- dealing with a Whalen whether that's mitigation on denial based on the model -- it will. Destroy the other would come from the state department of environmental quality that would meet the water quality standards in the third -- Would be the parish itself would have to approve it through its planning department the plans at a set up there. In in the just a minute or so I've got left what are your plans. Two to go forward in -- opposes if in fact those three permits granted. Aurilia maybe you might wanna take. You know I think we're gonna look at every every avenue that we can. Are you had to have legal. And you know assistance in infighting is going to be following a lawsuit. I would say that we're leaning that way we need to yeah. And Sandra what about your organizations. -- -- -- The Indy with the residents. In this area -- You know all of the members of on the railway really did come out. And opposed this project that -- say that we are going to prevail either with the core. GQ. What he had to Wear it though it appears play -- department you know dad. We think there there is some development that could go on this site that is appropriate but definitely not a Wal-Mart. I'm very good thank you ladies rather Tom look forward to on next visit is his situation progress will be right back after the news.