Letter to the Editor: Residents Should Clean Up Before Protesting Walmart

A Medlock Park resident says people protesting Walmart should look around at their community and pick up a rake before demanding higher-standard alternatives to the ubiquitous international retailer.


This letter to the editor first appeared on North Druid Hills-Briarcliff Patch.

While I am not a fan of Walmart, this area desperately needs tax revenue and revitalization. Suburban Plaza is dying, and .

I would love to see a mixed use development with unique stores there, but the demographics don't support it. If the support were there, it would be going there as opposed to Clifton Road across from the Centers for Disease Control.

need to get over it because, truthfully, the bad element they fear is already milling about Suburban Plaza. I'm sorry to say this, but this neighborhood isn't affluent enough to support this area on property tax alone. They can take their pick at this point: Walmart or decreasing home values with increased taxes.

If some of these people want to take pride in the area, they should start with cleaning up the curb appeal of their own homes. This neighborhood desperately needs some of that!

The empty car lots and Suburban Plaza are eyesores killing this area. I would love a Trader Joe's, but this is the economic reality. Residents opposing Walmart need to drive by Clifton Road and look at the demographics of that area and realize that area supports that kind of development.

Developers run serious numbers on an area before building and actually drive through neighborhoods. Costco would have been a great addition. But unhappy residents should drive over to Brookhaven, look at the neighborhood that Costco went into and grab a paintbrush and some hedge clippers and invest a little sweat equity in their own properties if they want those kinds of businesses.

I take a lot of pride in my home and wish others would do the same. The people who have made downtown Decatur, Brookhaven, Oakhurst, Lake Claire and Virginia-Highland have made those neighborhoods desirable by investing in their own properties!

Jennifer Moore
Medlock Park

Sophie January 31, 2012 at 12:35 PM
Maybe some of these silver spoon brats that live in the huge houses that have been built on the lots of the older homes "in Decatur" that were "scraped off" can help with Medlock "pick up a rake". They have their weekly yard help, gardeners, cleaning service, screw in a light bulb service. They do not donate to any mailing of cancer, heart, leukemia foundations I have mailed out, but they can afford these houses and all their handymen. I do not know why they built front porches. They are always in the house watching tv or on the computer. Would hate for them to get their nails dirty. This does not apply to all but most of the new "brat pack". I do oppose Walmart. We will see what happens.
Gina Hill January 31, 2012 at 01:33 PM
Amen, Jennifer!
taxus January 31, 2012 at 01:58 PM
If this is a kinder, gentler Walmart then everything should work out.
Q123 January 31, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Jennifer, while I don't oppose the Walmart that is coming into our neighborhood, I have so many issues with your article, I don't even know what to think. You are saying that we don't deserve "better" than Walmart because our houses don't have curb appeal? Perhaps we find it more rewarding to spend our time with our children, taking them to sports practices and making sure they understand their school work. Perhaps we just don't like yard work. You apparantly just don't like your neighbors. Perhaps you should think about that.
David D January 31, 2012 at 03:23 PM
@Kevin. You've got some bigger issues if all you can do is rant about others and not face some of the reality of Jennifer's comments. @Beth. You need a lesson in civic responsibility. It isn't all about your family. @Jennifer. I echo Gina - Amen.
Lori Rader-Jacobs January 31, 2012 at 03:29 PM
How about a compromise and work with your children to teach them how to take care of the family home. Let's start training our children to think about our responsibilies to the community (which includes making our homes presentable) not just fun and academic achievement. Personally I don't LIKE yard work either but I consider it an obligation of living in a neighborhood...and I'm grateful when others take the same care with thier property.
doug fortenberry January 31, 2012 at 03:36 PM
We had a similiar situation and discussion in Avondale Estates involving the Memorial Drive Wal Mart a few years ago. With all the negative attention toward this development you would have thought the Taliban was building a store. "No Wal Mart" signs in yards, emotional public forums, imminent traffic problems, crime, litter, rats? (yes rats) warnings of everything but the Plague. The result has been unnoticeable, a convenient store, traffic studies showed a decrease in our neighborhood, and 300 new jobs (with over 2000 applicants). Made me a Wal Mart fan, Doug .
Reality & Logic January 31, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Lori, great points! Probably most people would prefer to do something else rather than yard work! And who's not busy!! But it's just the right thing to do to take the time to keep your yard neat and clean. Civic responsibility as David D said! And it's very important to teach your kids to help around the house!
Nick January 31, 2012 at 06:17 PM
What's wrong with the neighborhoods in/around Suburban Plaza? And there are empty car lots everywhere, it hit that area harder 'cause it was almost nothing but car lots, Peachtree Industrial would look the same, but since there are no neighborhoods near them, that development "works" (NIMBY)
Q123 January 31, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Ok, so I comment on the article and then all you all comment on me. I agree with Nick. I find it unfortunate that you are not happy with the neighborhood. If you all want to live in Martha Stewart-ville, then you are in the wrong place. You need to be somewhere with neighborhood covenants, I guess. I like our quirky neighborhood, where everything is not perfect, but perfectly livable. Who knew that if my recycle bin sits outside for more than a day, I am offending. And as for civic responsibility, perhaps some of these folks just need help. My children, who do yard work and help around the house, by the way, help out our elderly neighbors as well. I don't have a designer house and I don't want one. Why don't you just comment on Jennifer's article. Don't you find it sad that the neighborhood is not considered "affluent" so we "deserve" a Wal-Mart? It's depressing. I love my neighborhood.
David D January 31, 2012 at 10:50 PM
Beth - nice try, but no go. You are the one who talked as if spending time with your children was more important than yark work. Now it seems that you want to turn that into an issue of folks who need help or are elderly. That isn't what this is all about. It's about people who hate Wal-Mart trying to deflect the issue to crime or home values. I don't necessarily agree with everything that is written above, but agree with what I believe is Jennifer's point. There are a lot more productive ways to improve home values that trying to blame a Wal-Mart development that hasn't even happened.
Renee Kirlin January 31, 2012 at 11:52 PM
From my understanding of this area and neighborhood, and I have attended meetings and been a member of my neighborhood association as well as attended Dekalb County Commission meetings, Suburban Plaza is strategically located and that is why it has been chosen. There are 3 or 4 senior high rises and Agnes Scott and Emory students are close by. It will be reachable via public transportation, bike, or foot. Walmart is the only retailer that has been interested in developing there and that has the money to build the underground parking. Although there are many things I do not like about WalMart, I do believe it will wind up being an asset to the area and that our home values will go up. I wish we could have civil discourse without attacking one another. Can we not disagree without being disparaging of one another? Renee
john penn February 01, 2012 at 05:01 AM
Walmart always wins. $$$$ talks and bullshit walks; rubber wheels beat rubber heels...real talk. It is well understood that Walmart is a prime example of Capitalism and if you don't think so, you are a communist. I didn't say that, I overheard it somewhere. Walmart is the poor man's Nordstrom(with groceries to boot). I am giving myself a high five.
john penn February 01, 2012 at 05:08 AM
I agree with Slim. There is no correlation between yard work and Walmart. There is a greater relationship between a messed up yard and spending time blogging on the Patch.....bank it.
Virginia Lester February 01, 2012 at 12:40 PM
The man named Kevin who started all of the mean-talk sounds like a bitter, envious and judgemental man.....just glad I don't have to wake up in his shoes everyday! Geeeeeeeesh!
Reality & Logic February 01, 2012 at 01:24 PM
I like Wal-Mart and I like nice yards. And it's not that difficult to have a nice yard, not to mention it's great exercise!
Ms. February 01, 2012 at 03:49 PM
No one said anything about living in perfectville or suggested that houses need to be designer. You seem to be taking this quite personally so I'm inclined to assume that you see yourself in the original letter somewhere maybe. And there's nothing to be offended about, it's simply a matter of taking care of your property. When people go looking for homes, one of the things they look at, is how well the neighborhood in general is kept and these types of things are important. I do respect that you have instilled in your children to help those in need, and I'm still not sure why you have taken this so personally. Btw, I'm not offended when people leave their recycle bins out, life happens, people are busy, and we get that. This article wasn't about the "life happens" kind of issues. More about people being complacent/neglectful, and the impact that those things have on a neighborhood.
Nick February 01, 2012 at 06:00 PM
My 2-cents...I don't see Suburban Plaza as run-down, there are some vacant buildings that could use a tenant...I remember the Pep Boys (hated to see it go), the Eckerd Drugs, the Save-Rite, the Pizza Hut, too... Anyhoo, I see it like this: Walmart v Target, Publix v Kroger, Chick-Fil-A vs. any other fast food joint, Church's/Mrs. Winner's (closed) v Zaxby's/Popeye's, QT v other gas stations. I'm gonna generalise and assume most people shop at one OR the other, for whatever reasons! The establishments could be equally "nice" (open to interpretation), we put our own labels on 'em. Which would you rather have in your backyard? which would you rather patronize? which fall into the "I'd shop there, but I wouldn't wanna live there" category? How many of you have ridden past a check-cashing store, auto parts store, furniture rent-to-own store? Was it in the Decatur City Limits? Was it in/near a neighborhood with well-kept yards? The classic Golden Rule of '(S)He who has the gold, makes the rules' applies. Walmart has the money to buy the land, sounds like a good invesment for them, why shouldn't they move forward? Equally, citizens have the right to protest, petition, question, vent, etc... I would personally rather see another store there, but I also think Walmart has a chance to change some minds here...and I'm talking a NICE store, with LOTS of windows and natural light, a NICE cafe area, self-checkout, shopping carts that do NOT leave the parking lot, lots of greenery, etc.
Ms. February 02, 2012 at 03:22 AM
How strange, Earlier the username was Kevin was attached to this post, and now you have changed it to Sophie. Hmmm...


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