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Walmart shopping center proposal approved by planning board

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The New Hanover County Planning Board voted unanimously Thursday to move forward with a proposed shopping center in the Porters Neck area.

After nearly four months of heated discussions and a petition signed by nearby residents against the project, the proposed Walmart Supercenter is one step closer to becoming a reality.

“We are a residential community that still has to deal with a Walmart in our backyard,” said Cathy Clausen.

Clausen was just one of the many residents that showed up to voice their concerns about the new proposed shopping center.

“All that noise while we are sleeping is going to be a big issue for the neighborhood,” said Clausen.

Thursday evening the board approved the proposed 250,000-swuare-foot shopping center will be located in the 8100 block of Market Street.

“Eventually there would be a development placed there. It could have been something a lot worse. Hopefully we are going to be good neighbors to them and they will be good neighbors to us,” said Donald Caison.

Caison is not only a nearby resident, but was the original developer of Country Haven neighborhood.

Even though many of the neighborhood residents are not pleased with their potential new neighbors, the project’s developer says this new shopping center will be great for the community.

“I think we are consistent of what the county is asking for and what the residents are asking for. There are always going to be some folks that are unhappy with it and we are not going to be able to change that,” said David Horner.

Horner is a developer with Paramount Development Corporation of Myrtle Beach.

As part of their decision the planning board recommended that the developer build a sound barrier at the back of the proposed shopping center.

Now the board’s recommendation will go before the New Hanover County Commissioners.

If approved, Paramount hopes to begin construction on October.

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