Supervisors OK new store in spite of merchant opposition
Despite opposition from a nearby merchant, the Yuma County Board of Supervisors approved a request for a special use permit allowing construction of a new Family Dollar store.
The 8,000-square-foot store will be built on the southwest corner of Avenue C and 8th Street on a 1.12-acre parcel zoned local commercial (C-1).
The special use permit is required due to the proposed size of the building. Staff explained that any business establishment over 6,000 square feet of gross floor area requires a special use permit in the C-1 zoning district.
The property is the location of a lumber yard owned by Wayne and Bessie Cozart. Real estate agent Tom Pancrazi, speaking on behalf of the Cozarts, said they have decided it's time to retire and are turning the property over to developers.
Existing buildings will be demolished for the construction of the new store. The rest of the property will be used for parking, retention basins and setback requirements.
In addition, the applicant requested a variance to reduce the amount of required parking spaces, based on a pre-annexation development agreement with the city of Yuma. Planner Fernando Villegas said the city requires the size of the property be reduced to allow for additional right-of-way for the future widening of 8th Street and Avenue C.
An agreement will be required by the city for utility connections, right-of-way dedication and access restrictions as required by the city's traffic engineer, Villegas said.
Both staff and the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended approval. Staff noted this retail store will meet the daily needs of the neighborhood and the proposed development is an improvement to the area. Staff also pointed out that the proposed project is considered to be in harmony with the area in which it is located.
However, the owner of the nearby Las Palmas Market opposed the new store and asked the board to deny the special use permit.
In a letter, Khaled Almuriki called the proposed store a “big threat to me and my business.” His market is located half a mile from the new store site and has been in businesses since 1997.
“I have had the pleasure to provide great service to all my customers. I call them by name, we have developed a sincere and honest relationship with them,” Almuriki said.
“This is a family oriented business. Bringing another business to this area will only jeopardize the others and nobody will be able to do good,” he added.
Villegas noted that five of Almuriki's customers also called the county to lodge their objections to the new store.
Agreeing with staff that the opposition is based on a fear of competition, the supervisors voted unanimously to approve the special use permit.
In order business, supervisors awarded an $84,275 contract to DPE Construction for the reconstruction of the Greer Lateral Crossing at Avenue D and County 11th Street Project.
Staff noted that project improvement plans have been completed and finalized for the proposed reconstruction of an irrigation culvert on County 11th Street and Avenue D. The project consists of removing about 208 linear feet of an existing 48-inch high-density polyethylene pipe and replacing it with a 48-inch concrete pipe. The joints to the existing pipe have started to fail.
Yuma County Public Works recently exposed the pipe to repair a joint near the edge of roadway that was leaking and did a temporary fix to stop the leak, according to a report.
The construction of this project will occur concurrently with the Yuma County Water Users three-day water outage from July 31 to Aug. 2.
Three bids were submitted for this project, with DPE being the most “responsive” bidder, staff said.
Mara Knaub can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (928) 539-6856. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSMaraKnaub or on Twitter at @YSMaraKnaub.