When Maryann Gregory told her son she was starting a petition drive to stop Walmart from building a grocery store in her neighborhood, she said his response was: "You can't beat 'em Mom."
To which she replied, "Watch me. I've got me an army of neighbors."
"Walmart has a bigger army," he reportedly replied.
"But we have God on our side," Gregory said.
In the end, Gregory and her small cadre of signature gatherers were able to convince the St. Louis County Planning Commission to reject a rezoning request from Walmart that would have paved the way for a Walmart Neighborhood Market near the intersection of Tesson Ferry and Butler Hill roads.
The victory for the self-described "little old lady from Mayberry" was gratifying because it was yet another example of how her neighborhood pulls together when there is a common issue to address.
"We all help one another," Gregory said.
She also wanted to personally thank many others (by first name only) who helped in the fight against a 24-hour Walmart Neighborhood Market being built in the neighborhood.
"We couldn't have done this without all of us working together. I want to thank the County Planning Commission for its decision and also (neighbors) Donna, Marge, Ray, Cindy, Meilissa, Paul, Steve, John, Megan and many others. A special thanks goes out to all who signed our petitions," Gregory said.
Gregory made it clear she is not opposed to development of the Butler Hill/ Tesson Ferry site, but is vehemently opposed to a business like the planned Walmart Neighborhood Market, that would be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
She suggested the site would be a good location for a "nice restaurant," small shops or even offices.
"We are not opposed to seeing the site developed," she said.
What comes next for the tract of land in question? No one knows for sure, but Gregory said, "I'll be watching."
See previous articles:
- South County Walmart Plan Voted Down by Planning Commission
- Neighbors Petition to Stop Walmart Grocery at Tesson Ferry & Butler Hill
- Walmart Seeks Rezoning to Build Grocery Store in Mehlville