March 6, 2005

WM Supercenter in Woodland Park, CO

In The Gazette, Rich Laden has written an excellent broad overview (cached version) of the debate over big boxes--and WM in particular--in Woodland Park:

But in a town such as Woodland Park, a scenic, 20-minute drive up Ute Pass from the Springs and home to about 7,000 people, opposition to Wal-Mart isn�t just about the retailer�s corporate policies.

Simply put, much of it hits close to home. Some residents worry a Wal-Mart store � or a Target, Home Depot or other big box � would disrupt the town�s character with more people, traffic and even crime, while it changes customer buying habits and harms longtime mom and pop businesses.

Woodland Park voters will decide May 3 whether to enact a six-month moratorium on retailers larger than 75,000 square feet.

�Woodland Park is a very unique community,� said Erik Stone of Citizens for Responsible Growth, the anti-Wal-Mart group. �It serves very much as a bedroom community for Colorado Springs. It�s a sense of place.

�When you�re there, you�re somewhere with incredible natural beauty. You have Pikes Peak above the town. Big retailers, whether it�s Wal-Mart, Kmart or Home Depot, anybody of that size and scale, we don�t think it�s a good fit for the community.�

The politically active, adult (non-felon?) members of the community will now decide the issue for everyone.

Posted by Kevin on March, 6 2005 at 10:55 AM