Some Covington residents concerned about big box development - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Some Covington residents concerned about big box development

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Covington, La. -

People who don't want to see a big box store take over property on the North Shore are bracing for a zoning battle in the new year.  They believe a retailer wants to move into a prime piece of wooded real estate near Brewster Road and Highway 21.

Some people in Covington fear the retail development will upset their quality of life.

Andrew Moran's says his phone has been going crazy.  His neighbors in Covington's Belle Terre subdivision fear the worst -- the owner of 37 acres of property on Brewster Road is fighting for heavy commercial zoning in their neighborhood.

"It all should be public, we should know what's going on right there, it shouldn't be hidden, it should be out in the open," said Moran, from Covington.

What Moran knows is this -- the St. Tammany Zoning Commission rejected a push from Goux Properties to rezone a portion of the property to heavy commercial, and they are now appealing that decision to the Parish Council on January 3.

"It's galvanized us -- you're going to see a large turnout," said Bill Weil, of Covington.

Sources say Wal-Mart wants to build a new store on the Brewster property. Wal-Mart has not confirmed  that, but hasn't deny it either.

Spokesman William Wertz tells FOX 8, 'While we don't have any new stores to announce in the Covington area, we're always evaluating opportunities to serve more customers... we will be continuing to look for ways to give Louisiana and Covington residents new options for jobs, and affordable food."

Some believe some sort of major retail development is inevitable for Brewster Road.  They say 27 of 37 acres in question are already zoned for such development, and they say the goal at this point should be to try and minimize its impacts.

Residents would like to see as many trees preserved as possible, and the main access placed on the north side of the property, near I-12.

Brewster Road residents say they would like to see their elected officials more involved.  "I would like them to recognize that the quality of life here is at stake," said Moran.

With a vote drawing near, those residents say they will turn out in force at the next parish council meeting.

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