Officials with Walmart held an open house Thursday in an effort to make their eventual move to Cibolo less contentious.
Company representatives faced tough criticism over the store’s proposed location at Bergfeld Road and Cibolo Drive.
“We think that the store is going to be a solution for those that are looking for access to fresh groceries or a job,“ said Walmart public affairs official Daniel Morales. “
Morales said the store is expected to create approximately 300 new jobs.
Tannya Steffen, a member of Move Walmart and Citizens for Cibolo, said the two groups are not opposed to Walmart coming to Cibolo, they just don’t want the store to be built within a few hundred yards of an elementary school and a church.
“Those roads are not made to handle the amount of traffic the 18-wheelers are going to be bring in, the influx or people that are coming in,” she said. “The safety of our children is paramount.”
City council members told residents several weeks ago that there was nothing the council could do to keep Walmart from building it’s store at the proposed location.
Pat O’Brien, a Cibolo resident and former council member, said he has no problem with the store moving in.
“That area was designed for that exact type of growth,” O’Brien said. I’m in real estate and whenever someone would ask me I would tell them, ‘This area is zoned for retail.’ It’ll be a good thing for the community.”
Sensing that they may be running out of options Cibolo residents signed a petition to put new alcohol and firearms sales ordinances on the November ballot.
There hope is that enough red tape could make Walmart choose another location or abandon their plan.
“We have citizens initiatives that we can also initiate and those are zoning ordinances that would prevent Walmart from selling particular items such as alcohol and fire arms within a certain distance from schools and churches."
But Morales said one-fifth of Walmart stores across Texas are in close proximity to schools and churches and the company will do whatever it takes to comply with state laws.
“We want to work with the school district, the parents, and the community to make sure it’s safe for everyone,” he said.