Alva community upset about talks to build a supermarket

Author: Camila Pereira Writer: Elyssa Morataya
Published: Updated:

There are early talks to put a Walmart or Sam’s Club on North River Road and Babcock Ranch near the Shell Station.

However, the Alva community has been clear they don’t want to see too much development.

Donnie Fewell has lived in Alva since 2015 and said he’s loved being away from city life.

“It’s rural. You drive down there, you see pasture lands with cattle, but where are they going to go when you start putting Walmarts in place?” said Fewell.

Preliminary site plans presented to Lee County show a developer wants to build big-box retail and fuel facilities on the southeast corner of State Road 31 and North River Road.

However, for this to happen, the property would need to be rezoned, which doesn’t sit well with some folks.

“They want to put cluster release just down the street, just about 380 homes on a small parcel of land now. We’re looking at a Walmart right here, I know, for Walmart, rather than expecting growth, and what growth means is our way of life getting wiped out,” said Fewell.

But others, like Jerry Whiteway, say maybe it’s not all that bad. He dealt with the same big box store dilemma when he lived in Coral Springs.

“None of the neighbors, anybody in the area, wanted it, and they picketed, and then when they built it, the place was packed; you couldn’t get in,” said Whiteway, “and so, nobody could stop progress. I understand both sides, but if it’s going to happen, in the end, it might benefit everybody.”

Everyone has something to say about it, and on Tuesday, you will have your chance to express your opinions.

There will be a community meeting at the Alva Community Center at 7 p.m.

*Correction – WINK News originally reported that Lee County was developing the site. It is not.

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