Longmont Residents for Responsible Development

Stop the Sprawl-Mart Super Center

We are committed to preserving and enhancing our unique community. Our group came together in June 2001 in response to a proposal by Wal-Mart to abandon its present site (120,400 sq. ft.) and erect a 220,200 sq. ft. Super Center on Hover Street, just north of Home Depot. We feel this is a bad idea for the reasons cited in the letter below, and encourage like-minded citizens to contact Longmont's City Council.

Many people who shop at Wal-Mart and other big box stores never consider their actions in a larger community context. We hope that these pages can help bring some of the larger issues to light. We believe that an informed, active, citizenry ensures a town that reflects our community values.

Please check these pages often, as new information continues to come in.

URGENT: Please take a few minutes to thank the four council members who voted against the annexation. You can find addresses, e-mail and phone numbers for Mr. Block, Mr. Lange, Mr. McCoy and Mr. Brown by clicking on City Council. INSIST that they do not weaken their stance on upholding our quality of life benchmarks. Pass this request on to friends and neighbors.

DECISION: At one minute to midnight, Tuesday November 13th, Longmont City Council voted 4-3 to NOT annex 28 acres for a Super Wal-Mart. Thanks to all involved in this campaign...

IT IS FINALLY HERE! Wal-Mart annexation decision will be before council Tuesday, November 13th. We need your voice and/or presence to convince council to vote NO. Bring friends, neighbors, significant others! Council is located on the lower level in the Civic Center, 350 Kimbark, in Longmont. Meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. The Wal-Mart comment period will probably be later than that, but please try to attend as much of the meeting as possible. Your presence is crucial, even if you donÕt speak. To assure yourself a speaking slot, sign up before 7:00.

New as of October 22nd: The Wal-Mart annexation decision will not be until after the elections. Planning and Zoning thinks maybe November 13th. If you haven't done so, vote: McCoy, Lange, Block, Langley (write in candidate in Ward 2, call for instructions voting: 303-682-5007).

New as of Sept. 10th: Wal-Mart's second traffic study was sent back to them by Planning and Zoning due to deficiencies. If we are having this much trouble with a traffic study, what is it going to be like working with them to fill the empty Wal-Mart? 10,000++ car trips per day just don't make sense on Hover St., so I think they are hoping that our Planning and Zoning staff won't really look at their stuff.

Also, Keith Langley is running as a write-in candidate against Greg Winger this November. He is against the Wal-Mart. For more info. about helping him, contact Keith at: 303-682-5007.

Action as of September 10th: Please attend as many council meetings as you can through October 9th. Council meetings start at 7:00 p.m., every Tuesday, in the Council Chambers, downstairs at 350 Kimbark. Even if you don't speak, your presence is important! If you can speak, even just a word or two, even better! If you want to speak you should arrive around 6:45 to sign in, sometimes, they also allow you to speak on an impromptu basis.

Also, letters, phone calls, and personal visits with your city council representatives are very important. Find them at: City Council. Letters to the editor at the Times-Call are also important. Find out how to submit one at: 303-776-2244.

New: Week of August 20: Planning and Zoning has asked Wal-Mart to resubmit their traffic study and include more detail. This is slowing things down, and we are now thinking that council will make their decision on September 25th. Wal-Mart's lawyer and traffic engineer basically told council on August 21st to "lower their own standards regarding traffic." Why don't you come tell council what to tell them....

New:Consensus and strategy from August 6th community meeting Please come join us! Speak at City Council, or just be present. Also, letters, phone calls, and personal visits with your city council representatives are very important. Find them at: City Council. Letters to the editor at the Times-Call are also important. Find out how to submit one at: 303-776-2244.

New: Week of August 6th: Public Meeting on Wal-Mart Super Center. Monday night, August 6th at 7:00 p.m. Library, room A. 350 Kimbark, Longmont.
Jeff Milchen, founder of the Boulder County Independent Business Alliance and the new American IBA, will speak on the importance of maintaining a strong base of independent businesses for promoting economic vitality, community character and democracy. Milchen will also expose some of the hidden economic and social costs that accompany proliferation of chain businesses.

We hope to have a staff member from the Planning and Zoning Department come to answer general questions about the annexation and approval process.

New, week of July 23rd: Wal-Mart has applied for annexation of the 20 acre parcel. Council will probably decide in the next few weeks or so. It is important to contact council by letter, phone, or come to council meetings. You may speak for five minutes, but you must come a little early to sign up. Meetings start at 7:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers, downstairs in the Civic Center at 350 Kimbark in Longmont.

Letter to City Council
Link to City Council Directly
Longmont's Comprehensive Plan

Articles and Studies:

  • Littering the West with Empty Super Stores
  • The Impact of Big Box Grocers on Southern California: Jobs, Wages, and Municipal Finances pdf file
  • A Few Links to other Citizen's Groups Trying to Stop Wal-Mart:
  • Coalition of Tri-Lakes Communities (near Monument Colorado)
  • Sprawl-Busters
  • South-East Aurora Quality of Life
  • East Mountain Citizens Against Wal-Mart (New Mexico)
  • Wal-Mart Watch
  • Who makes Wal-Mart's merchandise?:
  • National Labor Committee (general)
  • National Labor Committee (People's Right to Know Campaign--Wal-Mart specific)
  • Wal-Mart employees in the U.S. tell their stories.

  • Walmartyrs
  • Background: The Daily Times Call carried an article on Tuesday, May 8, 2001 announcing Wal-Mart's intention to ask the city to annex 20 acres to accommodate a Super Center next to Home Depot.

    Status: City Council is the body that ultimately decides whether the Super Center will be built or not. Wal-Mart must first secure annexation from Council. If Council approves annexation, then Wal-Mart will make a formal application with Planning and Zoning for building. Council will then have another chance to allow or disallow the Wal-Mart based on information from Planning and Zoning. Wal-Mart applied formally for annexation in late July. Check our site often for updates. It is important that you contact City Council with your views. Use the letter to council, write your own, call or e-mail. This site also links to their web pages for your convenience.

    Letter to City Council:
    pdf version
    msw version

    August 2001

    Longmont City Council Members
    350 Kimbark St.
    Longmont, CO 80501

    Dear Council Members McCoy, Carlson, Lange, Brown, Winger, Block, and Mayor Stoecker:

    I am deeply concerned that Wal-Mart wants to abandon its present site and annex land to build an enormous Super Center on Hover Street. I feel that this project would negatively impact the quality of life in Longmont, and compromise our community in many ways. Indeed, I feel that the whole project contradicts the spirit and specifics of Longmont's vision for its future as designated in the City's Comprehensive Plan.

    Specifically I am concerned about:

    o Traffic (volume, safety, pollution, neighborhood impact): These stores typically bring out 10,000+ cars per day. Proposed location is not near the 119-Hover intersection, but near neighborhoods (including the historic Old Town), Rogers Grove and the St. Vrain Greenway. I do not want more congestion on my streets.

    o Commercial Impact: Decaying malls and vacant stores follow the wake of the multinational chains as they "remake" themselves into Super Centers. Aurora has two abandoned Wal-Marts, each 100,000 sq. ft. Nationwide there are nearly 400 empty Wal-Marts surrounded by acres of asphalt. Longmont already has a glut of vacant office and industrial space.

    o Environmental Impact and Crime: Appearance: 20 acres including parking, runoff: itÕs near the St. Vrain Greenway, noise and light pollution: open 24/7; Crime: according to the Colorado Springs Gazette, police were called 86 times between November 28, 1999 and December 29, 1999 to a Wal-Mart at Platte Avenue.

    o Loss of Local Businesses and Small Town Atmosphere: Wal-Marts underprice and cause the loss of local, home-grown businesses. Towns are most vibrant when they have a core of decision-making business people who have a sense of place. Driving them out homogenizes the town and takes away local control. Even LongmontÕs Economic Council touts the importance of a diverse business base. The store contradicts our efforts to revitalize Main Street.

    o Erosion of Well-Paid Workforce: Grocery store employees tend to have good salaries, benefits and job security. Their counterparts at Wal-Mart will not. The cost to our community of job displacement and a "ripple effect" of lower wage workers on the economy is not tolerable.

    This proposed monolith (220,000 sq. ft.) will dwarf any other store along the south Hover corridor (Home Depot is 130,000 sq. ft. and Wal-Mart's present site is 120,400 sq. ft.). While Home Depot occasions around 4,000 car trips per day, Wal-Marts this size typically cause over 10,000 trips per day. Wal-Mart insists that Longmont needs this store so customers can have "much wider aisles," and a grocery store. It is my opinion that this petty convenience is far overshadowed by the negative impact this store will have on our community. Please do not allow this project to go forward.


    printed name and signature

    (Longmont address with zip) and phone number

    Contact Longmont Residents for Responsible Development: lrrd01@yahoo.com

    Last modified: November 19, 2001