Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Vote on Central El Paso Walmart Postponed

City Grants Two Weeks for Site Plan Tweaks

Matthew McElroy
A vote to allow a Walmart Neighborhood Market to be constructed in Central El Paso has been postponed for two weeks in order to allow the company to make changes to the site plan. The City Plan Commission (CPC) made the decision after some debate on the project’s proposed design.

Matthew McElroy, Director of the City Development department, recommended denial of the rezoning application at the April 18 meeting, citing issues the Planning Division has with the layout of the building and parking lot on the property. McElroy provided alternatives that the City wants Walmart to consider.

A Walmart representative countered, though, saying the City’s site concepts do not fit the discount store chain’s plans. Walmart also indicated that traffic would backup onto Montana Avenue and Chelsea Street in the City designs. Additionally, trucks would have a difficult time maneuvering through the parking lot.

In the end, board members decided to delay the vote until the next CPC meeting. Walmart representatives will return with an updated site plan, though it is unclear any considerable changes will be made.

Even if the CPC denies the rezoning application, Walmart can still appeal directly to the El Paso City Council which has the power to override the CPC vote.

The 35,500 square foot store will be located at the corner of Chelsea Street and Montana Avenue if approved.

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