Two groups opposing Walmart Neighborhood Market zoning case in Fort Worth
The South Hemphill Heights Neighborhood Association and Hemphill Corridor Task Force are opposing a proposed zoning change that would allow a Walmart Neighborhood Market at West Berry Street and Hemphill, arguing Walmart’s design doesn’t conform to the city’s Hemphill/Berry urban village plan.
In a letter to the city’s Zoning Commission, Fernando Florez, president of the South Hemphill association and chair of the Task Force, said the building’s windows wouldn’t cover enough of its exterior area and would be too high above ground. The urban village plan calls for substantial window area to create a strong link between the street and activity inside buildings.
The Walmart Neighborhood Market would be on a site at the southwest corner of Berry and Hemphill currently occupied by a community building owned by the Travis Avenue Baptist Church. Here's the Star-Telegram's original story on the zoning case.
“I want to state up front that Travis Avenue Baptist Church has been a great neighbor and people want a Walmart Store, but after careful study and consultation with members of these two groups there is unanimous agreement that we simply cannot support this zoning change as it now stands,” Florez said in his letter to the Zoning Commission, dated today.
“The waivers to the present MU-1 zoning, if approved as requested...will result in us not attaining the vision and main concept of the Urban Village Master Plan.” One such waiver would reduce the window coverage area on the Hemphill side of the building.
Florez acknowledged Walmart has made some changes, including changing from faux glass on the Hemphill side of the building to real, but the company’s plan on the whole “would kill the whole urban village concept,” Florez said.
“I want to say to Walmart that the door is still open,” Florez said.