Residents Rant as Wal-Mart Seals Deal for Davie Store

Retail giant to set up shop in town that's been fighting it tooth and nail

It's a Christmas present the town of Davie doesn't seem to want -- a new Wal-Mart store -- but it looks like they're stuck with it.

After years of fighting to keep the retail giant out of the city, officials voted 3-2 last night to settle a lawsuit Wal-Mart filed against the city, opening the door for a new store.

"We weren't thrilled with the old agreement or the new agreement but the federal court was very clear with what it wanted," said Tucker Gibbs, an attorney representing the Rolling Hills Homeowners Association. "The important thing is the site plan, what is this thing going to look like, how is it going to impact the neighbors, how is the neighborhood going to be protected."

The agreement provides for a 165,000-square-foot store to be run from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. at the corner of Orange and University.
Wal-Mart had wanted to build a larger, 203,000-square-foot, 24-hour superstore in 2006, but the Town Council rejected the deal in 2006. That's when Wal-Mart sued.

Facing more legal action, the town succumbed.

Residents like Jennifer Beightol, who lives next door to where the store will go up, were not thrilled with the vote.

"Aside from the fact that we completely are opposed to the way they do business, and their business plan and their business ethics, we don't want a superstore in our backyard," said Beightol. "It's extremely disappointing."

While several residents argued against the traffic, noise and possibility of crime, not all Davie residents were against the store.

"I am a strong supporter of Wal-Mart," said Frank Serra. "Like anywhere else, you have a choice, you shop at Target, Wal-Mart, Publix, we have that option, and it will support this community."

Wal-Mart's lawyers will be in Federal Court on Friday to lay out the site plan for the new store.

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