Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Walmart Changes Zoning Request: Plan Will Get CPC Vote This Week

The City Plan Commission (CPC) will make its third attempt this week to vote on whether or not to approve zoning that would allow a Walmart grocery store to be constructed in a central El Paso neighborhood.

This time, the Planning Division is recommending approval of the application due to changes made to the site plan, increasing the likelihood that the item will pass. The zoning type being requested has changed.
Walmart has added space for future buildings in its site plan.
Walmart representatives are now seeking General Mixed Use zoning which would allow additional buildings to be built on the site. This is in response to the City’s request to move the Walmart store’s footprint closer to Montana Avenue.

Two “subdistricts” have been added along the sidewalk on the site’s southern side on which retail buildings may be built in the future, giving the property a more urban, walkable element.

According to the Master Zoning Plan Report, prepared by Dunaway Associates for Walmart, the store will begin construction in late 2013 and be completed one year later. The additional buildings could come later, but Walmart would have to agree to the “re-development” of the parking lot to include the structures.

Walmart’s intent to build the 35,500 square foot Neighborhood Market was revealed in April. If approved, the store will be located at the corner of Montana Avenue and Chelsea Street, across from a current Albertson’s location.

Four different parcels make up the site and include a current Chico’s Tacos location, an animal clinic, a single family residence, and an empty lot. Owners of the Chico’s restaurant have stated that they support the Walmart plan and could open a new location nearby.

The City Plan Commission will vote on the item at its May 16, 2013 meeting.