Neighbors say new Edmond Walmart is breaking rules, encroaching on neighborhood property

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EDMOND, Okla. --The retail giant's plan is to build on the corner of Covell and Coltrane.

Now, the city is saying Walmart has overstepped their limits and removed too many trees.

The rules state that a developer can cut down an acre of trees for soil testing, anything more than that requires a permit.

Neighbors in Edmond say rules are rules and they want Walmart to stop.

"This is consistent with what they call a cross-timber ecosystem," Barry Black says.

The area backs up to Black's property just off Covell, right next to where Walmart wants to move in.

"It was just strange to have that knocked down on a weekend before we even had a hearing on it," Black said.

Barry says the company came in and tore down trees without a permit or an explanation.

"Rules are rules, it's called a notice of intent; they're supposed to file, and intent is before the act," Black said.

Black is right, a permit is needed.  But only after the potential developer goes beyond cutting an acre of foliage.

A Walmart rep told us they were testing soil samples, and that they did go over their allowed 1-acre limit. But the rep claims it was a simple miscommunication.

"It's not as if the land was clear cut or anything, but it was beyond the amount of what they are allowed to do without the proper permitting," Casey Moore with the City of Edmond says.

The property line for the neighborhood is only about 15 feet from the spot where Walmart is clearing away land and trees for testing the soil.

Neighbors we spoke with say they fear Walmart will be much closer than they originally thought.

"What I relied on when I bought my home was the very clear statement of 125-feet of trees between the residential zone from the commercial zone," Black said.

Walmart says they are trying to correct the issue by hydro-seeding, which promotes plant and tree growth.

"If you're entitled to go to an acre, then an acre is what you're entitled to take, over an acre is over an acre," Black says.

Walmart says if they do build on the land, they plan on planting at least several hundred more trees than is required to help landscape the area.

Neighbors aren't buying their solution.

There is a meeting held by the Edmond Planning Commission on Oct. 20 at 5:30 p.m. to decide the area planning of the store.

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