A March 29 Missourian article stated that Mike Holden, candidate for Fourth Ward City Council, favored a proposal for a Wal-Mart store on West Broadway that would include a standard red, blue-and-gray Wal-Mart store. The story does not fully explain the complexities of the proposal that came before the Planning and Zoning Commission, and inadequately explained Mr. Holden’s view of this Wal-Mart proposal.
Mr. Holden favors thoughtful, planned development that will provide more oversight and control of large commercial developments like Wal-Mart developments, and will encourage more attractive buildings, increased greenspace and buffer areas, and street/sidewalk improvements. He also wants to ensure that a commercial site is evaluated and considered in terms of its many impacts on the surrounding community, and not just only on design features of the store. Mr. Holden certainly does not prefer the “big ugly box” versions as indicated in the story.
In this particular case, Mr. Holden’s objection to the Wal-Mart proposal was based on the size of the building, which he felt was too large for the site and would impact the surrounding areas, including the nearby neighborhoods and school, in a negative way. Over 4,000 people in the surrounding neighborhoods signed a petition opposing a larger Wal-Mart and presented their case to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Mike weighed the various options that were before the Planning and Zoning Commission, listened to the people that lived there and made an informed decision. Ultimately, the City Council did approve a scaled-down version of the building, which Mike supported.