Some Argyle residents are raising concerns about the location of a proposed grocery store that may be coming to town.
According to the Argyle Chamber of Commerce website, Brookshire’s Food and Pharmacy is in talks with DeGuire Properties to open a grocery store between U.S. Highway 377 and Harrison Lane at Country Club Drive.
The store would serve as the first major grocery store in Argyle.
"We're all about the grocery store. All of us have to drive five or six miles to get groceries here in Argyle and we'd love to have a grocery store nearby,” said Argyle parent Bryan Livingston. “But having a grocery store nearby is not the same thing as choosing the right location."
Livingston and several other parents began raising concern about the proposal because the plot of land the grocer is considering is directly across Harrison Lane from Hilltop Elementary School.
According to the site plan, the back of the store and loading docks would face the school.
"It's a public safety issue above all things,” said Livingston. "When you look at this street over here, that's 30 feet wide and the fact it's going to have Brookshire’s vendor's delivery trucks on it all day long, add kids on bicycles and foot, it’s just not a good mix.”
Livingston and his fellow concerned parents have launched KeepArgyleSafe.org in response. On the website they list their concerns with the project, including the traffic increase close to a school, tax incentives offered to the grocer and the use of the land as a commercial area when in 2007-2008 it was pegged to become a town center area.
The main concern for the group though is having alcohol sales within 50 feet of school property.
They said these were concerns they’d hoped to bring before the planning and zoning committee but they weren’t made aware the topic was up for discussion until it was too late.
"We think that people who are concerned about selling alcohol right on the front doorstep of the school, that their opinion should have some weight,” said Livingston.
However town leaders said this is an opportunity to bring the grocery store, the town’s first grocery store, into the community.
Town Manager Charles West said the buyers have shown interest in the unused property and as a result the town is pursuing the opportunity.
West said at one point the land was in-fact talked about for their comprehensive plan, but he said in the late 2000s several of the groups that were to be a part of it went other directions. Town hall took up a different location and the post office was unable to make the financial commitment to the move, so since then the area has become a commercial one and is now even the home to a small shopping center off Highway 377, he said.
At this point Keep Argyle Safe members said they’d like to see the grocery store simply located somewhere else in town. They said areas near Interstate 35W were pegged for major regional services, like a grocery store, and they feel that would still be the ideal setup.
The town council will take up the matter on Tuesday night. Livingston and his fellow members said they plan to be there in hopes their concerns will be addressed and a change can still be made.