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Walmart, Zachary residents could be headed for another battle

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BATON ROUGE - Walmart could have another fight on their hands with residents of Zachary.

Just outside of the Live Oak Trace subdivision is a plot of land that has been center of debate in the past. In 2015, Walmart wanted to build a neighborhood market there, but the plan ultimately failed. Now there's talk about the idea resurfacing.

"We let our voices be heard once before in this matter," Richard Morales, who lives in the subdivision, recalls.

Morales wasn't alone. People for and against the big business filled city meeting rooms. Some argue there's already enough places to shop in Zachary.

"Three grocery stores: We have Leblanc's, Winn Dixie and Walmart on the other end of town," Morales explains. "You go in any of those stores right now, I guarantee none of them will be half full."

A Zachary city council member told News 2's Brittany Weiss, developers with Walmart and Marshalls discount retail chain met with city officials about building on the same plot in land there was a fight over before.

Some Zachary residents feel they're being left in the dark.

"I said, no, they trying to sneak under the table, not letting the neighborhood know anything about what's going on," Clarence Miles opines.

City leaders say the meetings with Walmart are standard operating procedure and that they do this with anyone hoping to bring business. While some argue growth is good, others say the spot won't do.

"They're just going to have to find someplace else to put that, I think," Miles says.

Earlier this year, Walmart closed a couple hundred stores, including a newly opened Neighborhood Market in Clinton that shut its doors after just 8 months.

For Walmart to build a new store on the lot in Zachary, the land would need to be rezoned. An attempt to do so, failed in 2015.


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