Taos County

Commission delays Family Dollar vote

By Jesse Moya
jmoya@taosnews.com
Posted 2/13/20

After four hours of public comment, and with more people waiting to speak, the Taos County Planning and Zoning Commission voted Wednesday night (Feb. 12) to continue a hearing on a proposed Family Dollar in El Prado. 

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Taos County

Commission delays Family Dollar vote

Posted

After four hours of public comment, and with more people waiting to speak, the Taos County Planning and Zoning Commission voted Wednesday night (Feb. 12) to continue a hearing on a proposed Family Dollar in El Prado. 

Wednesday’s meeting brought 168 community members to the Taos County Commission chambers on Albright Street for a public hearing, which gathered supporters and opponents together to voice their opinions and concerns over the proposed Family Dollar store near Milicent Rogers Road. The store is seeking a special-use permit to build on an area of once agricultural land.

The proposed 9,000-square-foot store would sit on 1.3 acres of land in El Prado off Paseo del Pueblo Norte. Owners Robert and Lilian Martinez sold the portion of land. 

"I hear people talk like as if it's their land, " said Robert Martinez during the meeting.  "It's not their land, it's my land.”  (See video 2 at  8 min. 14 sec.)

As he spoke, Martinez turned to the audience and said that if anyone was willing to pay as much as Family Dollar did for the land he would sell it to them. 

Opponents of the store gathered en masse at the hearing and had their voice as well.  Former  U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who lives in the area, was among the crowd of community members who spoke against the project. (See video 2b at  3min. 20 sec.)

“I’m pro-business, and I have nothing against Dollar Stores, but I do come here in opposition to the placing of a Dollar Store in this community,” said  Rumsfeld. “We have something very special here – people come here and visit here because it is special.” 

The commission voted to continue the meeting, which still had 25 people on a list to speak, to 6 p.m. on Feb. 26. 

Those still on the list will be allowed to speak at the continuation of the meeting. 

See the following livestream video replays of the night's proceedings:

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