The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

29 September 2003

Here come the dozers

Fox Lake covers about ten acres on Edmond's east side, and about two hundred upscale homes have been built in its general vicinity. The area is near Interstate 35, and a ridge separates the highway from the home sites.

In late July, homeowners were alarmed when a part of that ridge was cleared off to make room for a new neighbor: a Wal-Mart Supercenter.

Not that anyone objects to Wal-Mart in principle, of course; they just don't want it so close at hand. Clearing off the rest of the site, they fear, will cause erosion and the eventual destruction of the lake.

Edmond's rules for development are among the toughest in the state, but Fox Lake residents fear that the city is ignoring those rules in pursuit of sales-tax revenue.

Wal-Mart's proposal includes a heavily-wooded 100-foot-wide buffer to insulate the site from the Fox Lake development and substantial measures to preserve the lake. But ultimately this isn't about Wal-Mart, but about the likelihood that other commercial properties will follow them into the I-35 corridor, increasing traffic and stretching the perceived sprawl of Oklahoma City miles to the north.

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