Image above depicts proposed Family Dollar appearance.Courtesy of David Fant
County Commission Votes on Family Dollar Heading to Abiquiu
ESPANOLA – It appears that a family dollar is heading for Abiquiu. On Thursday the Rio Arriba County Commission held a license hearing for Triple C Development Inc., a developer for Family Dollar stores.
Triple C represented by their Development Coordinator Mark Edmunds came before the county commission to request approval of a special use permit for a commercial retail store, specifically to build a new Family Dollar Store in the Abiquiu area. Thursday’s hearing came after nearly a year of public comment and negotiations about the idea of bringing this discount retailer to the Abiquiu area.
During the hearing County Commissioner Danny Garcia, District 3, stated that he has received numerous phone calls both for and against approving the plan to build the store in Abiquiu. Many residents were concerned that the store would not fit in to the historic area and would negatively affect the surrounding community. Edmunds replied that his company has been working closely with the County’s Planning & Zoning Department to incorporate community comments into the design.
The hearing included a public comments section in which a handful of residents from the Abiquiu area who stated they had initially been opposed to the store, testified in favor of approving the plan as drawn up by the Planning and Zoning Department.
David Fant, an Abiquiu resident said during public testimony that he initially had concerns for what this type of store would do to the community but stated that most of his concerns had been addressed through the process in which planning and zoning develop the proposal. Fant also provided the Commissioners with drawings of the store, including the proposed architectural modification to ensure it and any signage “fit in.”
Phillip Kilgour with Rio Arriba Planning & Zoning presented the department’s recommendation for approval of the retail business permit including 11 special conditions including architectural design to blend into the historic community outdoor lighting stipulations, and security guidelines to ensure the store has a minimal negative impact on the surrounding community.
After a 45 minute hearing all three county commissioners voted in favor of the permit. Commissioner Garcia stated “I’m in favor of the store for the native people in Abiquiu.” Both Commissioner Garcia and Commissioner Alex Naranjo, District 2, spoke about the declining number of rural residents in Rio Arriba and the lack of grocery and retail stores in many of these areas. Both Commissioner Garcia and Narranjo voiced a hope that allowing appropriately designed commercial outlets into the areas may make it easier for residents to live in the rural parts of the county.
With the passage of this special use permit the development company and Planning & Zoning will now negotiate final construction plans that meet all requirements stipulated in this permit. Pending final approval of the development plans, Mark Edmonds of Triple C development incorporated stated that the company anticipates breaking ground in late spring or early summer.
Triple C development incorporated is one of four development companies that site and build Family Dollar Stores for the Family Dollar Corporation. Once the store is built the development company leases the property to the Family Dollar Corporation who then manages the business. The Abiquiu store will be the second store Triple C has built in Rio Arriba County, with the first one currently under construction in Velarde. Both the Velarde the store and to a greater extent the Abiquiu store have special architectural design elements included to better fit into the community.