Miramar rejection of Wal-Mart just the start of zoning battle


MIRAMAR--Although Miramar's Planning and Zoning Board voted unanimously Tuesday night to recommend the City Commission reject a Super Wal-Mart at Miramar Parkway and Flamingo Road, both sides say the fight isn't over yet.

The board denied the superstore's petitions to rezone the area from rural to community business and to build a liquor store and tire and lube station on the premises.


The City Commission will take up the matter at its June 1 meeting.

"We're not letting up," said Guy Giberson, a Monarch Lakes resident. "This won't be over until we win in front of the commission. Wal-Mart is entitled to appeal to the circuit court, so this won't be over until a judge says Wal-Mart can't put in a store at Miramar Parkway and Flamingo Road."

Opponents, most from Monarch Lakes, fear the 245,000-square-foot store would increase traffic and crime and decrease property values.

"We definitely cannot let our guard down," said Nancy Giberson, and she said a group of residents plans to speak to commissioners during Saturday's Miramar Day at the town center.

"We'll be relentless until this is over and until Wal-Mart isn't a consideration for that location," she said.

Eric Brewer, a Wal-Mart spokesman, acknowledged the challenge ahead.

"We're taking a real hard look at what we can do and we're going back to make sure we can do the best job possible. The most important thing is to make sure we address the residents' concerns by continuing to work with them and the city," he said.

About three years ago, residents battled a proposal to build a SuperTarget and the commission initially denied the application.

A judge, however, ordered the commission to re-evaluate the project, and it eventually was approved.

(source) Sun Sentinel (Rebecca Plevin) 5-12-05