Rezoning paves way for Wal-Mart

Frisco City Council approved a rezoning proposal 3-1 on Dec. 2 that allows Wal-Mart to build a Supercenter on the southeast corner of FM 423 and Stonebrook Parkway.

The property, which Wal-Mart already owns, consists of 28 acres between the Phillips Creek Ranch and Frisco Lakes residential communities. Wal-Mart plans to dedicate 18 acres to the store and gas pumps, and the remaining acreage will be used for passive open space and to retain a pond on the land.

The majority of residents who spoke at the council meeting opposed the size of the 190,000-square-foot store or having a big-box store at the intersection altogether.

Wal-Mart spokeswoman Kellie Gonzales said the area warrants a larger store.

"We just know that we can sustain a Supercenter at this location, and it's not just grocery and pharmacy that folks need. It's merchandise as well," she said. "Just from our analysis, we know we'll do well here."

Wal-Mart incorporated other multiple requested concessions from residents, including adding more landscape screening between the store and the neighborhoods, according to city documents.

Frisco resident Sherrie Salas expressed concern the landscaping will not last, using the Wal-Mart on Eldorado Parkway as an example.

"The landscaping that was there five years ago when I moved in has over time just disappeared," she said. "Now we have rocks. There's bags in the trees. I know there have been two bags in a tree for about two weeks."

Tony Ruggeri, Republic Property Group co-president and Phillips Creek Ranch developer, said he was at first concerned about selling homes next to a Wal-Mart. However, he said Wal-Mart has addressed a lot of those concerns.

"Additionally and most importantly, we are unable to finish the development at Phillips Creek Ranch and finish the park just south of Stonebrook without easements from Wal-Mart," he said.

Ruggeri said his company and Wal-Mart have also entered into easement agreements.

Councilman John Keating said the property has sat for years as agricultural land. He said Wal-Mart is stepping in, offering to care for the land and meet the residents' concessions.

"I've kind of lost count after 30, but it's six pages worth of concessions," he said. "These are in addition to our existing (planning and zoning) ordinances and in addition to what Wal-Mart brings to the table."

Council members Jeff Cheney and Tim Nelson did not vote on the proposal. Cheney said it would be a conflict of interest for him to vote, and Nelson left the meeting before the vote to catch a flight for a business trip in Mississippi.


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