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Walmart drops plans to open store in Exeter

February 16. 2013 4:36AM
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Walmart confirmed today that it would discontinue efforts to develop a store on Wyoming Avenue in Exeter.

An email from a company spokesman said that "The company attributed its decision to an inability to obtain all of the permits and approvals necessary to proceed in advance of a March 31, 2012 deadline contained in its agreement to purchase the properties."

"In particular," said the statement sent to The Times Leader this afternoon by Bill Wertz, Walmart director of media relations, "the company did not obtain a Highway Occupancy Permit, which was critical to moving forward with the project. The company remains committed to serving the Exeter community." 

The Bentonville, Ak.-based mega retailer had been eyeing construction on a 15.9-acre parcel along Wyoming Avenue but issues with zoning, traffic and concerns from competing businesses in Exeter and surrounding communities were raised over the past three years. 

Back in April 2010, Exeter's council voted to approve an ordinance to amend the Exeter Borough Zoning Map to open the door for Walmart to build in the borough.

The vote came after 15 months of meetings, hearings and media coverage, of the proposal to rezone approximately 15.9 acres of land along Wyoming Avenue from M-2 (light industrial) to B-3 (commercial) designation, for its intended development by Walmart.

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