I bought a wonderful town-home off Yelm Highway in 2008. My home backed commercially zoned property. Walmart built a 24-hour grocery store in 2014. The city approved the 200-plus-stall parking lot 15 feet from my backyard. My fence is 20 feet from my bedroom window. The city insisted a vegetation barrier would block noise. Reasonable privacy/sound measures were not considered.
Less than three days after the grand opening, residents bordering the property were thrust into chaos. Noise exceeding 55 decibels all hours of the day and night: door slamming (72 in 10 minutes), engines revving, shopping cart noises, leaf blowers, street sweepers, employee and customer cell phone conversations, smoking, headlight glare, crime, trespassers, and public views inside homes.
People just hang out in the parking lot. Police are called regularly. After complaints, the city approved a beautiful eight-foot wooden fence promising to add materials to reduce noise and create privacy. To our surprise Walmart has the wooden side; we have ugly black material Lacey’s code says: minimum requirements and standards for landscaping and screening need to promote safety, provide screening between incompatible land uses, safeguard privacy and protect the aesthetics. The fence does not extend down the building and not all homes are protected. The elected officials allow property tax increases but thanks to the city planner I couldn’t sell my home for the tax appraised value if my life depended on it.
Food for thought next election day.
Never miss a local story.