A request by a lawyer on behalf of a pair of Cibolo homeowner associations for a moratorium on the proposed Walmart supercenter on 22 acres Borgfeld Road, Cibolo Valley Drive and North Main Street was denied on legal grounds at a special city council meeting Tuesday afternoon in Cibolo.
Petitions requesting the recall of four council members met initial requirements.
Tuesday's special called city council meeting in Cibolo seemed to put an end to any legal battles for residents opposed to Walmart's site location across from Wiederstein Elementary School.
After discussing the issue in executive session, City Attorney Charlie Zech told the council and residents in open session that because Walmart's application and approval came before the moratorium request, that it cannot be allowed.
Residents opposed to the location said it's too close to the school and will create safety hazards for the children.
"Wow, we never expected that to come out," said Gina Turner, a board member of one of the HOAs and a spokesperson for the "Move Walmart" campaign. "I don't know where we're at at this point other than we will contact our attorney to see where we move forward."
"We are very clear in our intentions that we think Walmart would be a very good addition to our city," added Cibolo resident Tannya Steffen. "It would be able to bring a lot of business, a lot of revenue, but the location they are choosing is one that is completely inappropriate."
Despite the ruling, residents said they will continue to try to meet with corporate officials from Walmart in an attempt to have them move locations.
Walmart representatives recently held an open house for residents, but many in attendance left feeling their concerns were not fully considered.
"We're hoping they will respect our wishes and recognize that we're a solid community that will stand up for what we believe in," said Turner.
In addition to the moratorium issue, the council also met in closed session to discuss petitions submitted that called for the recall of four council members, Ron Pedde, Karen Hale, Larry Carlton and Steve Liparoto, whose terms expire in Nov. 2014.
The petitions were all validated with the required 150 signatures. Each of the recalled members can call for a public hearing within seven days.
If they do nothing, the council will eventually have to decide whether to put the recalls on the Nov. 2013 ballot or call a special election in May 2014.
The people behind the petitions called it a sign that they were unhappy with the council's decisions with Walmart. All seven council seats as well as the Mayor's could be up for grabs this fall.
"Those seats on the council belong to the citizens," said Andre Larkins, who helped push for the petitions. "They don't belong to the individual people who happen to be occupying them at this time."
Some residents had asked to have their names removed from the petitions, arguing that they believed they were signing petitions regarding Walmart's proposed location and not to recall council members. Zech addressed that issue and said once they were filed, the petitions became legal documents and could not be altered.