O’Fallon neighborhood fears possible Walmart development

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O’FALLON, MO (KPLR) – O'Fallon, Missouri, residents are fighting city hall even though they're not 100% sure as to why.

Farmland at Mexico and Knaust Roads may soon give way to a new market and gas station/convenience store.

City leaders and the developer, Cross 4 development, won't tell residents the one thing they want to know most:  what's the name of this place?

Those residents say if city leaders and Cross 4 won't say it -- they will:  Walmart.

From what people hear, it sounds like a plan for a Walmart.

From the drawings submitted to the Planning & Zoning Commission it looks like a Walmart.

“It is,” said nearby resident Susan Orth.  “It’s going to be one of those Walmart markets.”

City leaders will only say there’s a proposal to re-zone the farmland for a 24-hour market and gas station/convenience store.

It would share the intersection with Ft. Zumalt South High School.  An elementary school and middle school are also nearby.

The development would be back up to a subdivision where residents say they are already deluged with traffic.  The plan includes a line of trees as a buffer.

But residents wonder, a buffer from what?  Why won’t city leaders just come out and say it?

“They’ve got to know.  I can’t imagine they’re having a meeting and don’t know what someone’s going to come and say,” said resident Kathy Osborn.  “They know what’s coming in.”

The drawing looks a lot like the drawings for Walmart Neighborhood Markets, which are scaled down versions of the Walmart Supercenters.  The markets feature only groceries and a pharmacy.

There are 2 going up in neighboring St. Peters now.

But O’Fallon already has a Walmart Supercenter, which includes a supermarket, about a mile and a half from the location of the proposed new market.

The new Fresh Thyme market nearby just had its grand opening Wednesday.

“It’s supposed to be like Trader Joe’s, more healthy.  So why do we need more Walmart?” Osborn said.

“I don’t think there’s anyone in the subdivision who wants it, on either side.  I would think the high school wouldn’t want it either,” Orth said.

Residents prefer a new park.  They say children have repeatedly gotten hurt trying to dodge traffic when they come out of the schools.  They’ve signed a petition to stop the project.

There's a public hearing before the O'Fallon Planning and Zoning commission at O’Fallon City Hall, Thursday night at 7pm.

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