Seminole Heights residents sound off about proposed Walmart - FOX 13 News

Seminole Heights residents sound off about proposed Walmart

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

One by one, Seminole Heights residents took to the Tampa City Council podium, speaking out against a proposed Walmart on East Hillsborough Avenue between 15th and 19th Streets.

Currently, it's the site of an empty car dealership.

Residents aren't necessarily waging war on Walmart, but some do feel plans are moving forward without their input -- plans they say will disrupt the historic feel of old Seminole Heights.

"It is going to cause a terrible, terrible cut-through traffic situation," one resident said.

"I'm not anti-Walmart, but I'm anti-any business that is indifferent to what I and others in Seminole Heights have worked to build for 25 years," said another.

Concerns over the look of the building and an "S-1" classification -- meaning the ability to sell beer and wine -- were also brought up. City officials say HOA heads were told about the potential for alcohol sales but some neighbors say the message never got to them.

In most cases, the approval is simply a formality.

"The reason it was made an administrative approval, because for year 99 out of a100 approved, it's not considered a big deal, but in this case people felt they weren't notified," said Bob McDonaugh, City of Tampa administrator of Economic Opportunity.

City council members are considering changing the way they do things in part because of the stink raised over this Walmart.

Meanwhile, residents aren't standing by idly, they're fighting for their neighborhood, as they have for years.

"We feel like we've been sandbagged."

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