FORT SMITH, Ark. (KFSM) — Monday (Dec. 9) morning a few Fort Smith residents stood out at the corner of South 46th Street and Rogers Avenue to protest a new convenience store.
“We’re out here today just trying to protect this land that’s been here for 150 years,” said protestor Leighanne McClanahan.
Casey’s General Store bought a piece of land some consider to be a staple in Fort Smith.
“It is sacred ground and it should remain as such,” said protestor Bill Priakos.
The store’s proposed location is on St. Scholastica property.
“This is one of the last green spaces in Sebastian county and we think that community is really known by the green space that it need for its citizens and this was improperly zoned to take it away to put a convenience store here and it's a wonderful company and we love them we just don’t think this is the right spot for it,” Priakos said.
After filing a lawsuit against the city in 2018, a handful of protestors showed up in one last effort to save the land.
Priakos lives in a close-by neighborhood and organized the peaceful protest.
“My neighbors and I are out here with a few signs 'no c store' and so forth just to let the public know what our position is,” Priakos said.
Priakos says there may have only been a few protestors, but many people honked their horns in support while driving by.
"It’s just a beautiful piece of property, and once you pour concrete you can’t go back,” McClanahan said.
There will be a court hearing on Wednesday (Dec. 11) morning in hopes to determine what will happen to the land.