Wal-mart gets mixed approval, opposition


Wal-Mart got preliminary approval for its subdivision plan Monday from the Craig Planning and Zoning Com--mittee. But the retail giant also got its first look at the organized opposition to its plan to build a 100,000-square-foot Supercenter in Craig.

A group calling itself the "Craig Good Growth Com--mittee" sent a letter to city Com--munity Development director Dave Costa on Monday requesting meetings with the planning and zoning committee.

Tana Cook of Craig, who attended Monday's meeting on behalf of Craig Good Growth, said her group opposes Wal-Mart coming to Craig.

"We want to make sure they know we don't want them here," Cook said.

Planning and zoning committee vice chairman Chris Nichols said the committee's only role Monday was to decide about subdividing Wal-Mart's property, not land-use matters.

The committee gave Wal-Mart preliminary approval on its plan to subdivide its property on West Victory Way near Riverview Avenue. Craig City Council will vote on the issue next week.

Costa said the key word in the committee's decision Monday was "preliminary."

Wal-Mart still must receive approval for sewers, gutters, sidewalks and a multitude of engineering matters before they can break ground, Costa said.

Wal-Mart spokesman Gray McGinnis, who attended Mon--day's meeting, said it was difficult to project when the company could break ground and when the store could open.

When Wal-Mart officials came to Craig in the fall to discuss their plans, they said construction could start this spring and finish in the fall.

McGinnis said that because it took the company longer than anticipated to get its access roads approved by the Colorado Department of Transportation, the store would not break ground this spring.

There are a few more rounds of meetings with the city before Wal-Mart can get the go-ahead to start construction. But after Wal-Mart gets approval, the store will be built quickly, McGinnis said.

Cook said after Monday's meeting that she understood the committee only would discuss subdividing Wal-Mart's property. But she said she still wanted city officials to know where Craig Good Growth stands.

"If we don't get our foot in the door now, we may not have an option later," Cook said.

Cook gave a litany of reasons the group opposes Wal-Mart, including concerns that the retailer could have harmful effects on the Yampa River and that it would drive local businesses out.

Cook and fellow Craig Good Growth member Cris Criswell said they have more than 75 signatures from community members who oppose Wal-Mart.

Cook said group members plan to be at every meeting between Wal-Mart and the city of Craig to voice their opposition.

Brandon Johansson can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 213, or bjohansson@craigdailypress.com.

• The planning and zoning commission tabled discussion of the Craig-Moffat County Airport master plan report until a later date.• The commission approved River Ranches Beef's off-street parking and landscaping plan for a beef processing facility, 1520 N. Yampa Ave.• The commission approved Nick-N-Ator's off-street parking and landscaping plan for warehouse and storage buildings at 401 Stout St. and 415 Green St.• The commission approved Bobert's off-street parking and landscaping plan for a three-bay car wash, gas pumps and coffee/snack kiosk.• The commission approved Diversified Consulting Solutions' request for approval of a sketch plan for Colorado Northwestern Community College subdivision No. 1. The Memorial Hospital plans to use the site for a new facility.• The planning and zoning committee's recommendations will be passed on to the Craig City Council.

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