Don’t supersize Whole Foods
December 11, 2007
From: Pete McBride, Basalt
Re: Willits and Whole Foods
I love Whole Foods. Their chicken curry is world class and their salad bars actually have lettuce that isn’t approaching a composting experiment.
But I also love this valley because it is unique. It doesn’t look like everywhere else USA with strip malls and supersized parking lots shaping our commercial spaces. So I don’t think we should enable Whole Foods and its developers to bend and manipulate our development regulations, set up to protect what makes this area different.
Yes, let’s support Whole Foods. But in doing so, let Whole Foods support our values and regulations as well. I think a smaller Whole Foods with a courtyard will not only enable a better indoor/outdoor human space, but it will show that we aren’t trying to be the next Cherry Creek shopping plaza.
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I have visited many Whole Foods in other towns and cities across the country that are smaller with unusual store designs, and they work wonderfully. I don’t get lost in the aisles either. So I don’t think we need to bend over backwards to accommodate their big box desires. I think it would set a poor precedent: “Sure we have rules, but because you are organic, we’ll ignore them.”
This is not about whether you are for or against Whole Foods (I believe most are for it). The issue is that Basalt needs to ensure that the development is done properly, honestly and with respect for community values.
I’ll take a chicken curry salad, please. But don’t supersize it.