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FIRST ON 3: Commissioners approve Middle Valley Walmart

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UPDATE:  Proposed Walmart Neighborhood Market passes 5-4 after commission vote.

One resident, who was speaking against proposed Walmart said "We aren't so lazy that we need supplies in our backyard." Another opponent stated "We aren't against economic development. This is just a terrible location for this project."

Commissioners who voted AGAINST: Randy Fairbacks, Marty Haynes, Tim Boyd, Sabrena Smedley

Commissioners who voted FOR: Jim Fields, Warren Mackey, Greg Beck, Joe Graham, Chester Bankston

PREVIOUS STORY: Though the Hamilton County Commission has decided to push off a vote on the proposed new Walmart Neighborhood Market.

There was another community meeting on the topic Thursday night.

Commissioner Marty Haynes wants the community and developer to "iron out" any differences on the store that's planned for the corner of Middle Valley Road and Thrasher Pike.

Folks Thursday night said despite the convenience some say it'll bring, it'd destroy the quiet neighborhood.

Brenda McEntyre, Hixson resident, "I think the Walmart is going to ruin the feel of our neighborhood and our area, It's gonna have increased traffic and be open all the time."

The Regional Planning Agency has already approved the needed re-zoning for the property.

The Commission is set to vote on the issue in two weeks.

PREVIOUS STORY: The Hamilton County Commission is putting off a vote for two more weeks about the proposed new Walmart Neighborhood Market in Hixson.

Commissioner Marty Haynes wants more time for the community and developer to meet and "iron out" any differences about the proposed development.

"Any action at this time would be premature. In fact, I think the developer and the community need to have further dialogue before the commission gets involved," Haynes announced at Wednesday's commission meeting.

The commission will vote on the issue February 25.

PREVIOUS STORY: Tempers flared Friday night at a community meeting on a new grocery store that could be comng to the Hixson area.

Hundreds of residents turned out to the meeting that was aimed at clearing up any questions some may have on the proposed store Walmart Neighborhood Market.

Currently, there are 2 Walmart Supercenters in the Hixson area, one on Dayton Pike, the other on Highway 153.

The proposed store is planned for the corner of Middle Valley Road and Thrasher Pike. The meeting Friday night was split: with some wanting to convenience that store would bring, and others, wanting to avoid the traffic nightmare they say is inevitable.

Lucius Hilley, resident against Market, "It'd be convenient, I could ride a bicycle to it, but I don't really neeed it, I could get my groceries somewhere else, I don't want it here, there's way too much construction in the area."

Roberta Denton, resident for Market, "I'm older, and I need a grocery store close to my house, cause I don't travel like I used to."

The Regional Planning Agency has already approved the needed rezoning for the property.

Hamilton County Commissioners vote a week from Wednesday on the proposal.

"Is this the right fit for the community?  That's what we're trying to determine."  

Hamilton County District 3 Commissioner Marty Haynes on the proposed Walmart Neighborhood grocery, envisioned for a 7-acre tract at the corner of Thrasher Pike and Middle Valley Road.

Another community meeting is set before commissioners vote February 18th on the 41-thousand square foot marketplace.

Matt Hammond, "I think it would be great, give a place to the people out here where they don't have to drive so far to get their groceries".

Critics of this proposed grocery store say they're concerned about their potential property value diminishing, not to mention the added traffic this grocery store would bring.

Sandy Lewis, "They would have to address it, if it arises, just like everything else".

Sandy Lewis is a Middle Valley resident and realtor, she says she's not too worried about traffic, or the concern of dropping property values.

Sandy Lewis, "If you did a comparative market analysis for the homes around the Wal-mart now, they're building over there actually now behind that Walmart so and they're selling them".

Marty Haynes, "From a tax basis yes, it's a plus for Hamilton County Schools".

Commissioner Haynes says residents who go to Chattanooga, Soddy Daisy or Lakesite to grocery shop could keep their dollars closer, for the new Ganns Middle Valley Elementary School.

Marty Haynes,"Haven't made a decision yet, waiting to hear all the facts and maybe there's something that comes out tonight that I haven't heard before."

The Regional Planning Agency has already approved the needed rezoning for the property.

Hamilton County Commissioners vote a week from Wednesday on the proposal.

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