SUGAR LAND NOTEBOOK: Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market coming to north Sugar Land

By Michael Sudhalter
msudhalter@fortbendstar.com

A Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market is coming to Barrington Place, a north Sugar Land neighbor, but not everyone in the neighborhood is happy about it.

Wal-Mart’s Neighborhood Markets are grocery stores that are significantly smaller than the size of a standard Wal-Mart.

Residents are concerned about traffic and related issues that the Wal-Mart will bring to their neighborhood, but the worldwide retailer removed the proposed gas station from their plan.

“Those issues dealing with the fuel station have gone away but the rest remain,” said Ken Langer of the Barrington Place HOA. “Traffic is bad now and will only get worse. Barrington Place Elementary is on Alston and heavy trucks are not supposed to use this street. However, this doesn’t mean trucks do not or will not use Alston and no one wants to see a child injured/hurt by increased traffic.”

Once a location has been zoned for a grocery store, the city cannot legally change the zoning of the location after an application has been submitted.

“We’re encouraging Wal-Mart to work with the homeowner’s association,” Sugar Land City Manager Allen Bogard said.

Local HOA representatives met with city and Wal-Mart representatives last week.

CRIME DECREASES IN SUGAR LAND

Sugar Land had its second-lowest crime rate in the past 20 years.

Sugar Land Police Chief Douglas Brinkley will discuss that and several other topics during his Annual Report at the City Council Meeting on Tuesday night.

Brinkley said SLPD has completed its body-camera deployment, and the department is now fully-staffed.

While overall crime is down, there’s been an increase in commercial thefts.

The department will add emphasis to traffic enforcement in reducing accidents at high-traffic intersections such as U.S. 59 and Hwy. 6, U.S. 59 and Grand Parkway, and Hwy. 6 and U.S. 90-A.

SLPD received high ratings in the recent Sugar Land Citizen Survey.

REVISED SUGAR CREEK PLAN PROPOSED

Initially, the city of Sugar Land had a drainage plan for Sugar Creek that would put a drainage ditch through a portion of the neighborhood and a nearby golf course.

Some residents raised concerns that the ditch – despite efforts to make it aesthetically pleasing – would decrease the value of their homes and harm the appearance of the neighborhood.

The city is close to a solution where the drainage would go through an underground pipe, those not affecting the Bendwood area of Sugar Creek. The city council hasn’t voted on the new measure yet.

“Hopefully, we’re close to a design the (Sugar Creek) Golf Course can live with, residents won’t be opposed to, and something that will address the long-standing problem in Sugar Creek,” Bogard said.

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