Wal-Mart foes to address commission


Residents opposed to construction of a Wal-Mart in Mount Airy will address the town Planning and Zoning Commission at its meeting tonight.

The Bentonville, Ark.-based retailer wants to build an 85,000-square-foot store on 14 acres in Mount Airy Shopping Center at Route 27 and Ridgeville Boulevard.

The Planning and Zoning Commission will review a subdivision plat of the proposed site tonight. The meeting begins at 8.

Residents opposed to the project formed a group called Us Against the Wal six weeks ago and have organized committees.

With public relations, fund-raising and petition committees in place, the group is planning a letter-writing campaign, a phone tree, and picketing, if necessary, said Catherine Ditman, a town business owner who founded the organization.

Ditman is taking cues from Gig Harbor, Wash., a town comparable in size to Mount Airy. Residents there collected 13,000 petition signatures in a successful three-year battle against Wal-Mart.

"We have two speakers lined up, and several other members will attend in a show of support," Ditman said. "I have been very encouraged at the support from the town. Generally, we are pretty mobilized, even though we feel like stick figures against a steamroller."

The group's next meeting is tentatively set for 7 p.m. July 15 at Ace Hardware on Route 27.

Pub Date: 6/29/98

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