Residents protest new store near Katy neighborhood

December 7, 2011 2:55:13 PM PST
Some residents in Katy do not want a new grocery store to be built near their neighborhood. They're so opposed to the store that they protested out in the street this past weekend.

The big concerns seem to be traffic and property values and the neighbors say they have plenty of grocery stores already.

On the empty field at the corner of South Mason Road and Oak Park Trails Drive, the sound of the wind could soon be replaced by the sound of construction. And the neighbors in the Oak Park Trails subdivision have a problem with that.

"The grocery store is proposed or planned to be built on a site that we consider to be a major intersection thoroughfare intersecting with a neighborhood street," said HOA President Lisa Balkanli.

Neighbors say developers want to put an Aldi there; a discount grocery store that's been in the middle of a big nationwide expansion.

No problem with an expansion, say the neighbors. Just not here.

"Southbound traffic from Mason Road will have no other option, but to come into our neighborhood street to come into the property," said Balkanli.

According to the plans, the president of the HOA showed Eyewitness News, the store itself will be right behind me. The loading dock will be at the back of the lot right next to the homes in the neighborhood.

"Nobody really wants the business to come and see their property value drop," said resident Michael Queen.

He has lived on the street that backs up to the site for ten years.

Oak Park Trails Drive is the entrance to the subdivision he uses to get in and out.

"The increased traffic flow in and out of our neighborhood; especially getting into our neighborhoods. How crowded does it get during rush hour? It's gets pretty crowded after 4 o'clock," Queen said.

Aldi has met with the HOA to talk about the plans, but there's no word whether the German-owned chain is looking elsewhere.

Meantime, the HOA president says construction could start in the spring.

"We just don't think that our neighborhood street is a good fit," said Balkanli.

Neighbors in the subdivision started up an online petition protesting the proposed Aldi two days ago, and so far they have about 200 signatures.

We called and emailed Aldi for a response, but have no heard back.

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