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SF Speaks Out About Proposed Walmarts

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In early March, Walmart announced plans to build two more super centers in Sioux Falls.

One Walmart would be located on the Southwest corner of 85th Street and South Minnesota Avenue.

The other would be on the northeast corner of 60th Street North and North Marion Road.

However, at a public meeting Thursday night, these plans stirred some controversary in the community.

"This isn't smart," said Palmer.

Dana Palmer, has been a Sioux Falls resident for the past 11 years.

Palmer lives near 85th and Minnesota, one of the proposed locations for a multi-million dollar Walmart.

Palmer said she doesn't have an issue with Walmart per se; her concerns deal with the intersection becoming overpopulated, creating tons of traffic to the area.

"It defies common sense to put a major retail commercial development in this area," said Palmer.

"There are so many avenues to why I don't think Sioux Falls needs two more Walmarts," said Gallegos.

Natasha Gallegos doesn't live near either of the proposed Walmart locations; however, she's not in favor of the plans.

She started a petition on change.org a week ago, attracting more than 650 signatures by word of mouth and social media efforts.

"If Sioux Falls wants to move in a direction that's in support of small local businesses, that really wants our downtown area to grow, this is the wrong decision," said Gallegos.

"We want to be good neighbors and we want to help mitigate any concerns that our neighbors have," said Irsik.

Ryan Irsik, with Walmart Public Affairs, said as Sioux Falls continues to grow, the company is looking to service its customers.

"Two additional Walmarts Super centers will allow our customers a better shopping experience and they'll be able to shop in the neighborhoods in which they live," said Irsik.

The second proposed site at the corner of 60th Street North and North Marion Road, didn’t receive opposition at the public meeting.
The 35 acres of land, has already been annexed and commercially zoned to the city.

However, at 85th and Minnesota, this site is considered to be outside city limits.

This land requires annexation and if approved by city leaders, the land would then have to be re-zoned.

Which is something Palmer hopes does not happen and warns city leaders, citizens will be speaking out.

"You can expect a very big fight," said Palmer.

The city council will make a decision to annex the land at the intersection of 85th and Minnesota on April 2nd.

If the council approves the annexation, there will be two public hearings in regards to re-zoning the land for commercial use.
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