BREAKING - UPDATED - Albuquerque City Council upholds EPC denial for proposed Walmart @ Coors & Montano
BREAKING - March 4, 2013 - By a 7-0* vote City Council accepted the Land-use Hearing Officer's recommendation that City Council deny (in full) Walmart-Silver Leaf's appeal of the 5-2 EPC decision against the project.
*Two recusals (Councilors Garduno and Meyer)
October 19, 2012 - Recent good news regarding the proposed Walmart at the corner of Coors and Montano. Most of you already know that Silver Leaf, the property owners, appealed the October 18th Environmental Planning Commission (EPC) decision to deny the Walmart proposal. The appeal was heard by the Land Use Hearing Officer (LUHO) on December 21, 2012. This week the Hearing Officer made his recommendation to the City Council. He concluded that the EPC's decision is supported by the record and should be upheld, and Silver Leaf's appeal be denied.
It will now go before City Council to be heard at the end of February or March. City Council will either accept or reject LUHO's recommendation. If they reject LUHO's recommendation, then the Council will hold a full hearing on the Walmart appeal. There were many reasons why the EPC voted to deny the Walmart project; one being that it did not meet the access requirements of the LRF ordinance.
Original story (October 2012)
At 1 am on October 19, after 11 hours of hearing public comments, the City of Albq Environmental Planning Commission voted 5 - 2 against a planned development at Coors and Montano, NW which would have included a 91,000 sq. ft. Walmart store as it's anchor retail facility.
Numerous Bosque School students, several neighborhood associations, as well as the Central Group excom, all spoke out against the proposal.
Dan Shaw, a Sierra Club member and science teacher at the Bosque School in Albuquerque, was one of many local citizens that lead the effort to oppose the "big-box" or Large Reatil Facility mega-store development adjacent to the school.
The Daskalos-Silverleaf-Walmart plan, submitted to the Environmental Planning Commission (EPC) as Project #1003859, has been evaluated by City Planning staff and found to not meet at least eight major requirements, only partially meets twenty major requirements, and only fully meets less than ten major requirements of the City's applicable ordinances and zoning codes. There also remains the issue that the proposed Walmart facility itself does not have direct signalized access to a major arterial street, as required by the City's Large Retail Facility (Big Box) ordinance.
The site is on the edge of the Rio Grande bosque, one of the largest
remaining riparian cottonwood forests in the southwest. The fifty acres directly adjacent to this proposed site and outside of the formal bosque designation includes at least one-hundred twenty-two vertebrate species including willow flycatcher and bald eagles.