Opposing Walmart’s presence in our neighborhood was never an option because Suburban Plaza is already zoned for a big box store with Walmart’s specs. The only issue on the table is the parking special exception, the question being: “Will this redevelopment plan work with fewer parking spaces than what the County requires?” Opposing the parking variance only argues for more parking, not against Walmart at Suburban Plaza.
Given this situation, the MANA Board decided to try to get as many concessions as possible for the neighborhood from Selig and Walmart. To that end, we have spent hundreds of volunteer hours
organizing community meetings with neighborhood groups, the developer (Selig, Walmart) and DeKalb County (DOT, Commissioners and staff)
- identifying concerns of our neighborhood and others
- making specific requests and recommendations (both general and specific to certain neighborhoods) to the developer and County
- seeking legal counsel
- coordinating neighborhood group exchanges and
- keeping the community informed via our website and e-news
Selig has asked MANA to support their parking variance request. This is not a decision the Board took lightly. After much consideration and discussion, the Board decided that it is in our neighborhood’s best interest to do so. In return, the MANA Board is negotiating an agreement that addresses a number of our concerns. The Boards of surrounding neighborhoods will also support this agreement. These negotiations are ongoing and we will post the contract as soon as it is finalized. Please check this space for updates.
We believe these agreements are being negotiated in good faith. Individuals, of course, remain free to form their own opinions.