Wal-Mart on P & Z agenda<br>

For those who haven’t voiced their opinion yet on whether Winslow needs a Wal-Mart Supercenter, they’ll have their opportunity at this month’s Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

Three items on the agenda for the Thursday, Dec. 16 meeting deal directly with issues Wal-Mart must handle before construction can begin.

The retail company purchased two lots of land north of the existing store with the intent of erecting a Supercenter. Before that can happen, one of the plots must be split and rezoned.

North Park Village Homes, Inc. owns nearly 33 acres of land north of the existing Wal-Mart. A portion of that land is currently zoned for residential Manufactured Home-Multi-Family (MH-MF) and not commercial use. About 5.8 acres is being considered for rezoning. However, part of the acreage is not owned by Wal-Mart, but City Planner Jane Zukowski is asking the commissioners to extend the new commercial zone to North Park if they approve the lot split.

If the split is approved, the city’s General Plan would need to be amended to allow for the rezoning. Zukowski said the area in question was once commercial but was changed to MH-MF when the property owner who sold to Wal-Mart wanted to build a manufactured housing lot.

Each item will be opened for public comment. The meeting is expected to draw a large crowd with people for and against in attendance.

Wal-Mart spokesman Peter Kanelos said the company is moving ahead with plans after encouraging responses from customers.

“We started circulating support cards to customers in our store and have received well over 1,000 from Winslow residents who are supportive of a Supercenter coming to the community,” he said. “If we get 1,000 that’s about 10-percent of the community and that’s a great response.”

The proposed store would be 158,067 square feet, which is more than double the existing store, but still smaller than most Supercenters. Kanelos said the company is aiming for a spring 2006 grand opening.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers of the Police Court Complex.

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