TAMPA - Carrollwood is a tight-knit neighborhood. They are the kind of neighbors who miss work, wait in long-lines, and pack a County Commission meeting, including an overflow room.
Carrollwood neighbors say that's what you have to do to beat Walmart.
"Certainly, it's a David and Goliath-type thing," said Bill Jenkins.
"Very hopefully, they'll be listening to us," said Mickey Burton.
"I'd like to ask everyone opposed to raise their hands and be represented. Thank you," said Leah Wooten, turning around to more than 50 people raising their hands.
"It's a 41,000 square foot grocery store with a pharmacy on Dale Mabry Highway and a WaWa convenience store."
It started 10 months ago, where neighbors met at the proposed site on North Dale Mabry Highway and Floyd Road.
"It's already congested roads," Greg Scott told me then.
It ended in the County Center where Walmart attorneys tried to persuade commissioners to push their plan through.
"Your staff has recommended approval. Your planning commission has found us consistent with the comprehensive plan," said an attorney representing Walmart.
"Never before have I seen the Carrollwood community so united in opposition to a land use application," said Commissioner Ken Hagan.
"I will not be in support of this application," said Commissioner Mark Sharpe.
"I will be voting against the request," said Commissioner Victor Crist.
All six Commissioners present voted against the rezoning request.
"Man, it was just a great feeling. It just renews my faith in local government and the process," said Scott.
"They sided with us. We're thrilled! It's been such a long 10 months that it's been difficult for us to keep this going," said Wooten.
But Carrollwood neighbors may have to. They say Walmart doesn't give up easily, and attorneys could appeal.
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