ARGYLE (CBSDFW.COM) - Town leaders in Argyle voted late Tuesday to move forward with a controversial plan to build a new grocery store along US Highway 377.
The 4-1 vote by the Town Council allows Brookshire's Grocery Company to move forward with the proposed store along with related development.
"Let's grow," homeowner Jay Miranda said before the vote. "But, let's do it right. Let's not jump into this."
Jay and his wife Debbie moved to Argyle three years ago. They were drawn to the open spaces, horse pastures and the promise of a quiet, country lifestyle that was still close to the city.
But, developers recently secured a zoning change that will allow construction of a 55,000 square-foot grocery store, just across the street from the couple.
"Had we known that, I would never have bought this home," the Mirandas said.
Opponents of the proposed grocery store argued that the location, off Highway 377 and across the street from Hilltop Elementary, is not in keeping with the town's master plan.
"We do need stores," Miranda admitted, adding, "that's not the argument. The argument is the safety of these children. That's going to be a busy road, a very, very busy road and there's going to be an element of transients coming through that can bring a bad element with a school only 50 feet away from alcohol sales."
The Mirandas and other homeowners would rather see the store built closer to Interstate 35, an area designed to handle high traffic volume. The couple has taken snapshots of the daily, bumper-to-bumper traffic on Harrison Road, as parents line up to pick up children from school. They said the congestion will only get worse with the construction of a grocery store.
But not everyone in Argyle objects to the planned store. "I'm not entirely sure of the negativity it would bring or if it would bring any at all," said Brian Longhofer, who is the general manager of a local restaurant. Longhofer said it's inconvenient to drive to Flower Mound or Denton to buy groceries. "My personal opinion is that it would be a beneficial thing."
But, as the once quiet town braces for big population growth over the next decade, Longhofer believes the controversy brewing over the proposed store location isn't likely to be the last. "It's almost inevitable," she said. "Change is good."
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