Katy residents oppose construction of new Walmart near neighborhood

By Samantha Ptashkin - Reporter

KATY, Texas - Katy is one of the fastest growing communities in the Houston area and with that population explosion comes new development.

In fact, a brand new neighborhood Walmart is scheduled to open in spring 2015 at Westheimer Parkway and Falcon Landing. But some people who live near the construction site aren't too happy about.

"It scares me," Gabrielle Leonard said.

She opposes the Walmart because it's directly across from Rylander Elementary School, where her children will be attending.

"It's just a recipe for someone to get hurt," Leonard said.

A couple weeks ago, she created an online petition that already has more than 1,300 signatures.

Walmart spokesperson Anne Hatfield tells Local 2 the store would be a Walmart Neighborhood Market, which is about one-fifth the size of a Supercenter. It will have a full grocery department with a bakery and deli, a drive-thru pharmacy with our popular $4 generic prescriptions, health and beauty supplies, and select household items.

But Leonard fears no matter the store size, the Walmart will create traffic congestion near the school and crime.

"A hold-up could occur and then the school is right across the street," Leonard said.

Besides the safety issue, she and other parents argue there is no need for another Walmart in the area.

"We already have two huge Walmarts about five minutes away from the area," said Jennifer Murray, who also has children attending Rylander Elementary.

There is a Walmart Supercenter at 25108 Market Place Drive and at 1313 North Fry Road.

Both parents say they don't have a problem with Walmarts, they just wish there wasn't one going up in front of the school.

"If they could just take it down the road, that would be our end goal," Leonard said.

The parents plan to collect more signatures and speak to local lawmakers.

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