LIVONIA, Mich. (AP) -- Some residents are angry about a planned 24-hour Wal-Mart Supercenter, making racially-charged comments about the people they say the store would attract to their suburban Detroit community.
The Livonia City Council will review the issue at an Oct. 17 meeting before voting on it Oct. 26, Marge Watson, a planning commission official, said Wednesday. Both meetings are open to the public.
On Tuesday night, the planning commission voted 6-1 to recommend the project to the city council after a six-hour-plus meeting in which more than 500 residents showed up.
The store, along with a Target and about 40 specialty shops and restaurants, would replace most of the now-defunct Wonderland Mall. The 74-acre property has been vacant since 2002.
During public meetings in August, some opponents of the project expressed fears about black people from Detroit coming to Livonia to shop and work, the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News reported.
More than 4,000 people have signed petitions opposing the plan.
Wal-Mart spokesman Roderick Scott said it is the first time the retailer has heard of racial concerns during plans to build a store.
Livonia, which is located about 20 miles west of Detroit, has a population that is less than 1 percent black and as recently as last year was known as the whitest city with a population of more than 100,000, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.