Louisville Metro zoning board approves west Louisville Walmart p - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Louisville Metro zoning board approves west Louisville Walmart plans

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Metro Board of Zoning Adjustment approved plans for a west Louisville Walmart Monday evening after listening to people on both sides of the project.

“I'm thankful that the last major hurdle is completed," Mayor Fischer said after the vote. "We can now move forward and focus our energy on bringing this new development, with its much-needed 300 new jobs and new retail opportunities, to the citizens of West Louisville."

Some in favor of the superstore held a small prayer vigil before the meeting.

"The children of God, they always prayed before they went into battle, so we feel that it is very important that we pray that we'll soften the hearts of men that are going to make decisions that are for the community here," supporter Rev. Milton Seymore said.

The prayer vigil lasted for about 20 or 30 minutes and then the supporters headed inside the old jail on West Liberty Street.

Once inside, Walmart representatives and supporters were up first and addressed the board of zoning and adjustment one-by-one.

They say the superstore would bring 300 jobs to the area and attract other businesses.

"At the planning commission there was a speaker that said we haven't had a major investment in west Louisville -- I think he said since 1968," Walmart attorney Deborah Bilitski said. "This is a big deal, it's a big deal for the people and they're tired of looking at a blighted, they are ready for a good shopping experience, they're ready for jobs and we respectfully ask for your approval."

Walmart is not without opposition, those against the superstore are now getting a change to be heard as well.

Some of their complains about the store include the suburban design and low wages for workers.

Opponents have argued that the large parking lot included in the suburban style store would cut off people who walk to the location and is a poor use of the space.

Appeal Filed 

An attorney representing people in opposition of the Walmart says an appeal has been filed with the Circuit Court over the Planning Commission's decision several weeks ago. 

Steve Porter spoke at Monday's Board of Zoning Adjustment meeting. He said, "This is an unreasonable circumvention of zoning regulations just because somebody at Walmart says, 'We have to have it our way or it's the highway.'"

Porter says the appeal was filed Monday. The complaint calls the Planning Commission's decision on Walmart "erroneous." 

The documents state "Due process was denied because the Planning Commission was illegally constituted" and "The Planning Commission disregarded and failed to enforce the provisions of the Cornerstone 2020 and the Louisville Metro Land Development Code, without sufficient justification or evidence, in making its decision, as required by law, thus resulting in an arbitrary and capricious decision." 

When asked about the lawsuit, Kevin Thompson, the Director of Public Affairs and Government Relations for Walmart said, "That could very well delay the construction..." 

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