A group of residents here lost yet another battle before the City Council Wednesday.

Two years ago residents living on 2200 South, and others living nearby, fought mightily to keep the new Dick's Market from going in at Orchard Drive and 2200 South.They lost. Dick's Market is now doing business.

In a public hearing Wednesday, a diminished group of the same people protested against a rezoning of property across 2200 South from Dick's, just west of Orchard Drive, from residential to commercial.

They lost again. The rezoning went through.

"I can tell you why (more) people aren't here," said Councilman Harold Shafter, who voted against the rezoning along with Sam Fowler. "It's because we tore the heart out of them. They've lost faith in their elected officials."

The primary issue was the amount of traffic on 2200 South, a narrow residential street. Residents argued Dick's has already increased traffic, along with bringing noisy trucks, bright lights at night, increased garbage and smells, and substantially reducing property values. They said the rezoning would make a bad situation worse.

But city planner Blaine Gehring said the four to six apartments that could have been put on the property, as it was previously zoned, would create just as much traffic as a pizza joint or juice bar, which is what the developers preliminarily plan for the site.

Resident Thalia Ashby disputed that claim, citing statistics from similar businesses that state hundreds of customers go through the doors daily.

The property is small - only 70 feet of frontage - but is contiguous to a larger parcel on the corner of Orchard Drive and 2200 South that already has a commercial zone. Developers plan a video store and food place, such as a bagel store, on the larger parcel, and wanted to round out the development with another food place on the smaller lot.

They also plan to put 10 townhouse apartments on the other side of the disputed property to buffer the commercial from existing residences.

"(The development) is absolutely ideal," said councilwoman Barbara Holt, who made the rezoning motion. "It couldn't be better."

Holt, reading from a prepared statement, said more apartments on the lot, instead of more commercial developments, would have about the same impact on the neighborhood - "six of one, half a dozen of another."

The residents did not agree. Those who spoke expressed a strong preference for apartments over commercial outlets.

Councilwoman Ann Wilcox said the residents shouldn't be upset with the proposal, as even people living in tenement housing can be happy.

"Quality of life is not determined by what goes in around you," she said.

After the meeting, the residents said their repeated battles with officialdom have proved one thing: You can't fight city hall.

"They do what they want," said resident Jerry Jordan. "They talk about the city. Who is the city? We are."

"Our spirits have been broken," Ashby said. "It doesn't do any good to fight. It's all big business and commercial."