walmart arnsdale 150331 Imagine for a moment that you live on Andrews Road in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, and your backyard faces a the large green meadow that is the nine-hole, private Oakwood golf course. Summers are pleasant and, with the possible exception of the occasional sliced ball, peaceful. Your house is located in a neighborhood where property values are on the increase. Fast forward to the present and the greens and fairways are paved over and instead of the periodic thwock of a solid drive, you have the rumble of trucks spewing diesel fumes and they enter and leave the loading docks at the back of the Walmart feet from your back porch. Those property values? What property values? Well, that is a bit of what Lacey, Washington resident Karla Wooster is upset about.
Noisy, ugly and unsafe. That’s what a Lacey resident had to say about living next to a new Walmart on Yelm Highway. Karla Wooster says the city needs to do more to address her concerns and those shared by several of her neighbors. “I am here to ask the council for help,” said Wooster, 52, during Thursday’s Lacey City Council meeting. Wooster has lived in the Summerwalk subdivision, which is also off Yelm Highway and east of College Street, since 2008. That subdivision also was designed for future commercial development. She was aware of the commercial zoning, but thought it would become professional offices, such as for a medical practice. Or, she said, if it was to become home to a store, she expected it would be developed in a way that she would look out and see the back of the store, not the side of it and a large parking lot. But that’s the orientation of the smaller-format Walmart grocery store that opened there about five months ago. It operates 24 hours a day. “We had no idea how 250 parking lot stalls on a raised parking lot, less than 30 feet from our living room and bedroom windows, would impact our daily lives,” she told the council.
Only the very rich can afford acres of buffer around their stately homes. The rest of us have to be prepared for noisy, ugly and unsafe. Jeff Hess: Have Coffee Will Write.

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