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UPDATED: Good Growth DeKalb Files Appeal in Suburban Plaza Permit Case, Hold Rally

'Good Growth DeKalb is committed to continue to protect neighborhood rights and work for smart, sustainable growth.'

Suburban Plaza in North Decatur. FILE PHOTO
Suburban Plaza in North Decatur. FILE PHOTO

Good Growth DeKalb, the local group fighting the construction of a Walmart Supercenter in North Decatur's Suburban Plaza, filed its long-expected appeal of a judge's ruling that dismissed its lawsuit against DeKalb County.

The group, which contends its administrative appeal of the Walmart building permit was improperly heard by the Zoning Board of Appeals, also planned a rally at the 6-way intersection of Scott Boulevard and North Decatur and Medlock roads set to coincide with the Friday afternoon rush hour.  

 “At issue here is not only the re-development of Suburban Plaza, but also the rights of any affected citizen in DeKalb to ask that the County follow its own laws in issuing building permits,”  Good Growth DeKalb Co-Chairwoman Louise Runyon said in a statement.

“Good Growth DeKalb is committed to continue to protect neighborhood rights and work for smart, sustainable growth.”

In her Oct. 31 ruling, DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Tangela Barrie said Selig Enterprises Inc.'s planned redevelopment project can go ahead.

Atlanta-based Selig aims to bring the Walmart online by 2015.

But that ruling, Good Growth DeKalb contends, blocks any DeKalb County citizen or group from challenging the issuance of a building permit through the Technical Board of Appeals.

What's more, the group charges it also generally blocks anyone from being able to "challenge DeKalb County's failure to follow its own ordinances."

Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which has built a number of stores in metro Atlanta in the last several years, has said the Suburban Plaza site matches what it seeks in terms of attractive demographics, location and other factors.

In a statement, the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer expressed disappointment at the decision to appeal.

“It’s a shame that once again a small group is trying to block a project that offers such clear benefit to so many in the community," Wal-Mart spokesman Bill Wertz said.

"Our aim is to bring jobs and more affordable prices to DeKalb County, and it would be unfortunate if our plans are delayed still further.”

Thomas Ricks December 29, 2013 at 08:18 PM
Let me try nicer. Walmart is evil. They are dirty. They bribe local officials. They demand special tax breaks. They get corporate welfare. They drive local businesses out of business. They pay for crap. They reduce property values. They are a blight. If someone is defending walmart, they are either ignorant or willfully ignorant or have an agenda. No one who works for an honest living and cares about their community could possibly want a walmart near them. An agenda can include working for Selig or walmart, wanting to promote comapnies that destroy the American ecnomy, wanting to push libertarian or conservative lies...or...working for a lawfirm that stands to make a lot of money from city incorporation. The latter seems the most likely at this point.
no2Decatur December 29, 2013 at 09:26 PM
@Thomas Ricks-with all due respect, have some respect. You never answered my question. I'm not a fan of Wal-Mart. Would you be so adamant if this were anyone other than Wal-Mart.
J. Ellis December 30, 2013 at 09:13 AM
I am also not a fan of Wal-mart and will not shop there. However, the property is zoned for a big box commercial use. Back in the day, SP had two Corporate grocery stores and many other retail establishments. I would much rather see a Trader Joe's or something else and as no2Decaturs asked you Thomas Rick.....Would you be so adamant if this were anyone other than Wal-Mart. Suburban Plaza and all the empty car lots on L-ville Hwy have been a disaster for over 8 years. Now because Wal-Mart is coming in, businesses are already lining up to get in that plaza and new exciting changes are happening with all the empty car lots. It is no wonder that the City of Decatur is renewing their land grabbing of the commercial areas ie: Suburban plaza, Emory Commons etc even though the Mayor announced they were against Wal-Mart.....what a joke!
David D December 30, 2013 at 10:30 AM
@ThomasRicks: Let me be clear, bubba. Your inflammatory comments do more damage to your cause than can imagine. I've heard way too many accusations of corruption against honest people and fully expect some of you will end up in court at the end of the day. And, it will be well deserved.

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