Wal-Mart wins 

Opponents plan to take fight to the ballot

Two weeks after Woodland Park's City Council approved the mountain city's first Wal-Mart by a 5-2 vote, all eyes are on what the voting public will do.

"If the majority votes to bring in Wal-Mart, that's fine," said Dave Paraday, spokesman for Citizens for Responsible Growth -- an anti-big-box group that has petitioned for a referendum that could nullify City Council's decision and possibly kill Wal-Mart's plan.

"We feel [City Council's] minds were made up long ago," he said, and the public should have the final say.

The last-ditch effort by Wal-Mart foes marks the latest chapter in a debate that has bitterly divided this 7,300-resident city 20 miles west of Colorado Springs.

"There were as many people who supported Wal-Mart as there were against it," said City Manager Mark Fitzgerald, who attended the council hearings, which lasted more than 40 hours. The council's decision to approve both a zoning change and Wal-Mart's development plan "fundamentally decided" what will be done, he said.

But a lot remains up in the air. The petition drive coincides with another special election organized by Paraday's group, to be held on May 3, in which Woodland Park voters will decide whether to place a six-month moratorium on any big-box stores.

"The referendum is much more serious than the moratorium," said Mike Ciletti, a consultant for Wal-Mart in Colorado. "If it's a question of just the moratorium," he said, "it doesn't affect the outcome."

But a referendum on Council's decision would halt construction slated for August.

"Certainly I take that seriously," Ciletti said, "and I will fight it."

-- Dan Wilcock

  • Opponents plan to take fight to the ballot


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Latest in Local News

Readers also liked…

  • Tides of green

    Manitou Springs welcomes Emerald Fields, its second cannabis shop
    • Apr 1, 2015
  • Got the message?

    City officials claim using private email avoids 'injury to the public interest'
    • Apr 8, 2015

Popular Events

  • Cool Grrrls Meet Electra (Get Involved)

    • Thu., Oct. 6, 5-7:30 p.m.
  • Panel Discussion: Stories of Peace Corps Service @ Pikes Peak Library District, Rockrimmon Branch

    • Wed., Oct. 5, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Free
  • Candidate Forum @ Stargazers

    • Tue., Oct. 18, 6-8 p.m. Free
  • The Bear Creek Greenback Challenge @ Bear Creek Regional Park

    • Sat., Oct. 1, 7 a.m.-1 p.m. $0-$40
    • Buy Tickets
  • Heroes of Mental Health Luncheon @ The Broadmoor

    • Thu., Oct. 13, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. $50
    • Buy Tickets

Most Commented On

Top Viewed Stories

  • New bike race for Colorado?

    Professional cycling has struggled to maintain major races in the United States.
    • Sep 28, 2016
  • Scrubbers to be tested

    The City announced it is starting to test the Neumann Systems equipment on the Drake Power Plant downtown.
    • Sep 28, 2016
  • More »

All content © Copyright 2016, The Colorado Springs Independent   |   Website powered by Foundation