A group called The Concerned Citizens League of Twin Falls has formed to fight a proposed Wal-Mart supercenter in Twin Falls, Idaho. In May, the giant retailer announced plans to construct a 200,000-s.f. supercenter in the North Haven Business Park in Twin Falls. The city’s planning and zoning department refused to accept Wal-Mart’s application for special-use permits, because of problems with North Haven’s planned-use development (PUD) agreement. Wal-Mart, and the family that owns the land, have appealed the city’s ruling, and will present their case on May 31st. According to the Times-News, about 90 members of the CCL turned out recently to oppose the supercenter plan. The group says all Wal-Mart will bring to Twin Falls is low-paying, low-benefits jobs and empty local storefronts. “We have a beautiful little downtown … we need to keep it that way,” said Bill Haines, a leader of the group. Residents of housing developments nearby, the North Pointe Ranch neighborhood, have been opposed to the development since before Wal-Mart was even proposed. The North Haven development was supposed to be a business park with office buildings and light manufacturing.. Wal-Mart was not part of the agreement when a PUD was created for North Haven.
A giant retailer clearly is not compatible with the intent of an office park, light manufacturing PUD. The city should stick by the original plan, and not change it for a project that “just doesn’t fit in,” as one resident said. The neighborhoods near this district will suffer financially from such an intensive commercial use as a supercenter. For local contacts with the CCL, contact [email protected]