Miramar locals fight Wal-Mart plan


Traffic, crime would rise, they claim

MIRAMAR--About 50 people gathered Friday to protest a proposed Super Wal-Mart at the northeast corner of Miramar Parkway and Flamingo Road.

The participants, most of them Monarch Lakes homeowners, waved banners and chanted "Hey, hey, no, no, Super Wal-Mart has to go." They said they are concerned the proposed 245,000-square-foot store would increase traffic and crime and decrease property values.


"We're fighting for our homes and for the peacefulness, which are the reasons we bought into this community," said Rebecca Guiterrez.

"It's going to be a magnet for every crazy in the world," said Peter Peter, another neighborhood homeowner. "It will completely change the complexion of the area."

Miramar is already home to a Wal-Mart at the intersection of Pembroke Road and University Drive.

Before Wal-Mart can build the proposed new store, its 29-acre parcel must first be rezoned from rural to community business. Because it would contain a liquor store and tire and lube center, the city commission also must grant variances for special uses.

The Miramar Planning and Zoning board first discussed the store's application on May 3. The board will make a recommendation after its next meeting, on May 10 at 7 p.m. at City Hall.

Wal-Mart expects the City Commission to take up the matter about a month after this recommendation is made.

Nancy Giberson, a rally organizer, said she and neighbors started going door-to-door with petitions last Saturday.The community's Web site, www.monarchlakes.org, also told residents about the rally and provided a petition to send to the mayor.

Eric Brewer, a Wal-Mart spokesperson, said, "What's unfortunate right now is that we've offered to work with the neighborhoods and address constructive feedback, but Monarch Lakes in particular decided to just say no."

Brewer said he recognizes there are concerns about traffic, but Wal-Mart must abide by regulations that would ensure they don't overburden the roads.

"I understand neighbors' concerns, but we're going above and beyond with buffering and setbacks," he said.

(source) Sun Sentinel (Rebecca Plevin) 5-07-05