Fort Worth Zoning Commission Denies Walmart Market Design

City zoning commission kicked back Walmart's application

By Chris Van Horne and Elvira Sakmari
|  Wednesday, Feb 8, 2012  |  Updated 5:43 PM CDT
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Community Demands High Standards for Urban Village

NBC 5

City residents upset about WalMart's design in Urban Village.

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Community Demands High Standards for Urban Village

City members protest WalMart's design in Fort Worth's Urban Village.
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The future of Fort Worth's newest Walmart Neighborhood Market is in jeopardy once again.

The city zoning commission denied Walmart's application to build a store at West Berry and Hemphill streets.

Opponents said the original plans for the store did not meet criteria set up a decade ago for a Berry-Hemphill urban village. That master plan requires new buildings and modifications to old buildings make them more pedestrian-friendly.

Walmart sought waivers, but the zoning commission on Wednesday denied the request and, by default, the building permit.

"We're not against the Walmart. We just want them to do it right and conform to the Urban Village Master Plan," said Fernando Florez, president of the South Hemphill Heights Neighborhood Association.

Some in the community say the store plans should be accepted because of the lack of progress on the Berry-Hemphill Urban Village.

"For over 10 years, there's been absolutely no interest, and we get a developer and investor that wants to come in, and I think that will help kick start it and make that urban village a reality," said Christopher Bonilla, a voting member of the Hemphill Corridor Task Force.

The plan denied Wednesday goes before the City Council on Tuesday night.

The City Council can approve, amend, continue, deny, or deny without prejudice Walmart's plans.

If the council follows the zoning commission's recommendation for denial, then Walmart cannot reapply for the project "of like nature" for one year. 

If the council chooses to deny without prejudice, then Walmart may reapply for the same project at any time.

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