"Putnam wants the city to help him put together a petition so the residents can hold a referendum, but we will be unable to help him. Legally that time passed over a year ago," said Thacker.
Another problem is that even if Putnam's petition were successful, it wouldn't keep Wal-Mart out. In fact, the older zoning laws called for by Putnam would have allowed the big box project to be even bigger.
"Some citizens believe under the rezoning we did in December 2003, they could have stopped Wal-Mart," said Thacker. "That is not true the area was still zoned for commercial use. In fact, they actually downsized the acreage by seven acres. Wal-Mart would have had more acres to build on under the old zoning."
Debate has also been stirred about residents not having had enough information before hand about the zoning change in 2003.
"We were not as informed as the citizens of Sandy. In January 2004 the zoning laws were changed, and we had 45 days to hold a citywide referendum," said George Fisher, resident of Centerville and opponent to Wal-Mart. "According to Bruce Baird, a hired attorney, we maybe could have stopped Wal-Mart if we had started a year earlier; now we are too late."
The state's highest court unanimously ruled in early July that residents who oppose a Wal-Mart in Sandy can hold a referendum to dispute a zoning change made by its city council for the development of a Wal-Mart on a 107-acre gravel pit.
Putnam hoped to accomplish the same feat in Centerville.
The difference in Sandy is the zoning was changed to commercial use. Centerville city has had the area in question zoned for commercial use for the past 30 years.
Putnam, however, said residents of Centerville are still fighting. He is also looking at the traffic mitigation plan to halt the progress of Wal-Mart.
"The question is this: If the traffic level of giant Wal-Mart would be considered detrimental and unsafe for school pedestrians and for cars," he said, "should the city officials allow that store to be built?"
Putnam has contacted UDOT officials to find out if the construction of Wal-Mart will bring with it a dangerous traffic situation for the city. Putnam, however, has made similar requests before, but previous studies have indicated traffic levels will fall within safety guidelines.
Traffic mitigation plans also will be evaluated in the next few months by the Centerville City council.