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KSJD Local Newscast - April 30, 2024

With a 2-to-1 vote, the Montezuma County commissioners on Tuesday denied a high-impact permit for a Dollar General store at Highway 145 and Road N. They had delayed their decision for a week to give themselves time to look at documents and information presented at a public hearing the previous Tuesday. Commissioner Gerald Koppenhafer said although the four-acre parcel on which the store was proposed is zoned commercial, that doesn’t mean any and every type of business would be acceptable there. He and Commissioner Kent Lindsay said the store would have significant adverse impacts to traffic, neighboring property values, and the area’s rural character. Lindsay also cited concerns raised during the public hearing about noise, lighting, increased crime, water for firefighting, and other issues. Commissioner Jim Candelaria, who voted against denying the permit, said the proposal met all the requirements of the land-use code, and spoke about capitalism and free enterprise. Lindsay and Koppenhafer emphasized that they were not rejecting the proposal because it involved a Dollar General store specifically, but because it did not fit with the surrounding neighborhood. Koppenhafer said, “Development should be more in line with what’s in that area. I don’t care what kind of store it is.”

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Gail Binkly is a career journalist who has worked for the Colorado Springs Gazette and Cortez Journal, and was the editor of the Four Corners Free Press, based in Cortez.