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City of Tulsa officials meet with North Tulsa residents over discontent with discount stores

Posted at 10:00 PM, Feb 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-06 23:42:04-05

TULSA - A battle over quality food in North Tulsa.

Driving down North Peoria you'll find a Dollar General, the parking lot almost completely full.

Drive down a little further, a Family Dollar.

"The problem is that I don't see fresh fruits and vegetables," said resident Athena Fernandez.

Many don't dislike these stores, but also don't understand why there are so many; sixteen just in district one.

"The excess is just too much," said resident Beatrice Graham.

Make that seventeen when you count the newest one.

Despite outcries from the community progress at the new location off of East Pine and Midland is still moving forward; but people have made sure everyone, including Dollar General knows what their welcome will be if or when its doors open.

Less than half a mile down Pine from there, another Family Dollar.

Tulsa City Councilor Vanessa Hall-Harper said a current six-month moratorium was supposed to keep the most recent Dollar General from going up.

"I think the 'good old boy' system got together and drug the vote out long enough so their permit could go through the process and now we're stuck with it," she said.

It didn't work, so she and her district are on to plan B, boycotting the store.

 "They're only interested in their bottom line, their pockets or their profits, and I'm not going to place profits over people."

The moratorium keeps new small box discount stores from going up within a mile from an existing one.

"The question the council has raised is whether or not the moratorium should be extended and made permanent through an amendment to the city's zoning code," said City of Tulsa Planning and Development Director Dawn Warrick.

Hall-Harper and urban planners hosted a meeting last week with about 150 people.

Both meetings getting input on the moratorium becoming a permanent ordinance and what else an ordinance should include.

"We want to address that proliferation and we want to insure balanced development," Hall-Harper said.

Monday, citizens spoke their minds.

"I go to Aldi, I go to Walmart, I go to Cash Savers, and they're all within driving distance of each other once I get to that side of town."

Pleading with officials to listen to their needs, and help them build a better, healthier North Tulsa for the future.

The city isn't hosting anymore public meetings, but you can make your voice heard here.

In a statement Dollar General said it's been cooperative and transparent throughout the process of building its latest location.

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