Teays Valley residents discuss new Walmart concerns

HURRICANE, W.Va–Teays Valley residents and some from surrounding towns gathered in Hurricane Monday night at The Museum in the Community to discuss how to fight the building of a proposed Walmart on Route 34.

Opponents of the plan feel that the planned 42,000 square foot shopping center not only would create more traffic in a congested area, but also violates zoning laws that make the town unique. Resident Andrew Martone said he chose to live in Teays Valley when he could have lived anywhere in West Virginia for this reason.

“One thing that really stands out about Teays Valley is that you have terrific zoning laws in place,” he said. “The laws give you well-defined residential districts, and business districts.

He added that the proposed shopping center in the heart of a residential center would end that. Rachel Coffman, who represented a PR firm for “Keep the Promise Coalition”, a group trying to fight the building of the Walmart, said there’s a lot that citizens can still do to fight.

“You can call the board of zoning appeals, you can call the county commissioners, you can legislators or any elected officials,” she said. “There’s all kinds of ways that you can express your concerns about what this is going to do and how it will change the community.”

She said a hearing on the issue will take May 14, and that citizens are encouraged to come speak against the building of the store.

Walmart has defended the building of a new store, saying that the proposed store would be significantly smaller than a typical Walmart superstore that would create heavy traffic.

David Alvis, who owns a Cross Lanes business, felt that Walmart creates traffic no matter what, regardless of size or location.

“Walmart doesn’t even have to advertise where they are. It pulls in traffic two or three thousand cars a day,” he said.

Walmart plans to hold its own hearing on April 23 at Hurricane City Hall for citizens that want more information.