It was 1:00 a.m. when the Norman City Council gave its approval to a zoning change that would allow a Wal-Mart Supercenter in Southeast Norman.
The council told numerous residents speaking against the zoning request that Norman needs the sales tax revenue from the proposed big-box retailer that would be built at Cedar Lane Road between 24th Ave. SE and Classen Boulevard (U.S. 77) just south of State Highway 9.
Council members said they did not like the last-minute request for a postponement or that the project went through the planning commission without being identified as a Wal-Mart — a high-traffic generator. Ward 4 Council member Greg Jungman voted against the postponement and retired teacher, Ward 5 Council member Lynne Miller was stern in her admonishment about the secrecy surrounding the land deal as well as the last minute postponement request.
The proposed Wal-Mart would be Norman’s fifth, and third supercenter. The city already has one along Interstate Drive just north of Main Street, and along 12th Ave. NE between Main and Robinson Street.
There’s also a smaller Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market located at Rock Creek Road and 36th Ave. Northwest, and a second neighborhood market is under construction along Classen Blvd. at Constitution Street, just a few miles north of the proposed supercenter. Norman also has a Sam’s Club at Main and 36th Ave. NW.
A recent police report on calls for service over the last three years indicates a relatively high volume of calls to the Wal-Mart supercenter locations as compared to Target and Lowes. A spike in calls during 2013 at the Wal-Mart, at 333 N Interstate Dr. is related to a higher response by the store to shop lifting.
The report was completed at the request of city council.
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