Editorial: Right decision on Family Dollar store

Posted 12/13/18

We applaud the unanimous decision of the Taos County Commission recently to deny a construction permit for a Family Dollar store in Ranchos de Taos.

It was the right decision.

We say this not …

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Editorial: Right decision on Family Dollar store

Posted

We applaud the unanimous decision of the Taos County Commission recently to deny a construction permit for a Family Dollar store in Ranchos de Taos.

It was the right decision.

We say this not because we oppose dollar stores as a whole. They provide a valuable service to residents in rural areas that have lost their general stores.

Properly situated, they help people who lack transportation have easier access to some basic goods. Even if the profits from these dollar stores go to some far-off fat cat in a far-off state, the dollar stores nonetheless provide jobs to local people.

Still, too much of anything isn’t good for a community and the Taos Valley now has plenty of dollar stores. One, the Dollar General store, is less than a half mile from the location of the proposed one. Two more are within a couple of miles along Paseo del Pueblo Sur.

Another dollar store is absolutely not what Taos and nearby communities need now. We can think of plenty of other kinds of stores Taos lacks.

Still, commissioners were careful in their decision by basing it on a matter of public safety, not on public sentiment. They knew they might get sued over the decision.

They decided the increased traffic at the spot would make an already hazardous intersection more so.

We think the Texas developers proposing the Family Dollar store will be wrong to sue over the matter. They can surely think of something more creative and better to put there, something the community might actually need and support.

Hotel developer Jay Batra listened to the outcry of the community who urged him to reconsider a proposed four-story hotel, not far from the proposed dollar store. He went back to the drawing board to come up with something more befitting the community he said he wanted to be part of.

The developers of the Dollar General store should do the same. By suing the county, they will prove they have only profits, not the best interests of this rural, historic county at heart.

Finally, in the dollar store debate, we applaud the concerted efforts of the community who spoke against it. They were organized. They were passionate. They had facts to back up their case to the commissioners.

The commissioners listened.

Now would also be a good time for the county and the town of Taos to consider an ordinance overlay – similar to ones used in other places, such as Tulsa, Oklahoma, to limit the number of dollar stores.

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