SUGAR LAND, Texas (FOX 26)
Tammy Lee moved to Sugar Land more than eighteen years ago. She says back then, the Barrington Place subdivision had the best of both worlds.
"This was a field and they cultivated hay and we had two lane streets all around us and it was almost farmish but right in the middle of the city," says Lee. "It was nice and calm and you could hear the birds. It was wonderful."
But soon, instead of hearing birds in this field on the other side of her back fence, she's going to hear bulldozers. Wal-Mart plans to build a neighborhood concept grocery store nearby. Many people in her subdivision are not happy about it.
"I just feel the fuel trucks coming up to my fence, the dumpsters," says Lee. "It's not going to be the same."
Others say the traffic in and out will clog up an already-busy intersection of West Airport Boulevard and Eldridge. They worry about drainage, the parking lot lights at night and the noise.
In the interest of fairness, not everyone in this neighborhood thinks putting a grocery store on this piece of property is necessarily a bad idea. Some actually welcome the idea.
While nobody is claiming this is a food desert, the closest grocery store is a small Food Town a mile away. They want more competition and they want it closer. But the bottom line is, love it or hate it, there's nothing anyone can do about it.
Once a piece of property is zoned for a business like this and someone applies for a building permit, you can't change the zoning. It freezes.
Tammy Lee says the best thing you can do if you have developable land near you is pay attention.
"Before it's too late. Absolutely."