Walmart goes before Tarpon Springs City Commission again listen10/21/08 Mitch E. Perry
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A large crowd is expected tonight at the Tarpon Springs City Commission on Walmartâ€™s plans for a supercenter on vacant land beside the Anclote River.
There actually could be two nights of hearings on the proposed Walmart, considering the last hearing in January 2005, which lasted 12 hours and ended at 7 in the morning.
There has been tremendous opposition to the plan. Many say the proposal would bring environmental damage to the site location, cause heavy traffic and harm local businesses.
Chris Hrabovsky is an activist who has been battling against the proposed Walmart for years. He says the plan gets more complex by the day.
If approved, the discount store-supermarket would be built on the banks of the Anclote River.
But thereâ€™s now another environmental issue that could foil Walmartâ€™s plans, the discovery of two nesting bald eagles on the site. The eagles are protected by the federally mandated Migratory Bird Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, which forbids the harming, selling or killing of eagles, their nests or eggs.
Last year Walmart came under fire for prematurely relocating gopher tortoises from the site. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission referred the matter to the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney's office for investigation.