City Council 1, Wal-Mart 0

City Council vents spleen on proposed Wal-Mart

With Council seemingly going into hibernation early, the only fireworks prior to today's Redeemer zoning debate at 4pm (Hi Rich!) was an unexpected, ad hoc debate on the proposed "urban" Wal-Mart at Northcross Mall. Bloodletting, really. Members of Responsible Growth for Northcross, speaking during citizens communication, opened the entire loss-leading, family-sized can of worms, with their ire shared by most on the council.

We know it's hard to believe, but Brewster McCracken took the outraged lead. With his trademark repetition, he hammered home the fact that the proposed, 200,000-plus square-foot store would be the "largest retail establishment in Central Texas behind Cabela's and Ikea." McCracken also emphasized Wal-Mart would draw more traffic than all of Northcross currently does. Additionally, being larger than the Wal-Mart superstore at Ben White, he pontificated it would draw as many, if not more cars. Aside from not complying with the newly passed design standards ordinance, Brewster said the neighbor's exclusion was inexcusable. "The issue to me is a site plan was submitted with no notice to anybody... Neighbors needs to know more than the site plan's been filed -- (they need to be know) all hell's gonna break loose, get ready... This is some kinda radical expansion, what's happening on neighborhood streets."

Toby Futrell promised a timeline of the approval process, individual briefings for councilmembers, and a rundown of existing and possible tools for reining in the Bentonville beast (zoning laws, possibly noise or light ordinances relating to round-the-clock operating hours).

Got something to say? The Chronicle welcomes opinion pieces on any topic from the community. Submit yours now at austinchronicle.com/opinion.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More City Council
Inching Toward Higher Heights to Get More Housing
Inching Toward Higher Heights to Get More Housing
Advocates for low-income tenants urge a go-slow approach

Maggie Q. Thompson, June 13, 2022

Council Recap: A Balanced Budget, Without Much Drama
Council Recap: A Balanced Budget, Without Much Drama
But many hours of deliberation over two days on the dais

Austin Sanders, Aug. 13, 2021

More Business & Economy
It's the Stupid Economy
It's the Stupid Economy
Fact-checking Perry's campaign against Texas' financial realities

Richard Whittaker, Aug. 16, 2011

Meet Bobby Jindal
Meet Bobby Jindal
Louisiana governor's big launch was supposed to raise his national profile

Richard Whittaker, Feb. 25, 2009

More by Wells Dunbar
Top 10 City Council Stories
Top 10 City Council Stories
Dais and months

Jan. 6, 2012

City Hall Hustle: The Hustle Bids Farewell ...
City Hall Hustle: The Hustle Bids Farewell ...
To the beating hearts of a great city

Dec. 30, 2011

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Business & Economy, Growth & Development, Wal-Mart, City Council, Northcross, Brewster McCracken

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle