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LAKEWOOD, CO–The Lakewood City Council on early Tuesday voted 8-2 against the rezoning that would permit a Sam’s Club to be built in an upscale neighborhood near the Pinehurst Country Club. Grassroots neighborhood groups had banded against the development.

The 138,000-sf store proposed to be built on 20 acres at 7205 W. Quincy Ave., would have generated $1.7 million in sales tax revenues annually to the city’s coffers. The added revenues are coming at a time when Lakewood is facing a $12.5 million budget shortfall over the next two years, which could mean hiring fewer cops and closing parks. The city is considering raising its 2 % sales tax, one of the lowest in the region to 3%, a 50% increase.

Unlike other protests against Wal-Mart and its affiliates, such as Sam’s Clubs, many neighbors says their protests weren’t against the Little Rock, AK company. Rather, many say, they think a big box store is inappropriate for their small Lochmoor neighborhood in the western suburb. Neighbors were worried about congestion and traffic, although the owner of the land, Academy Park LLC, promised to provide $3 million in traffic and pedestrian improvements at the busy intersection.

If the vote had been closer, Wal-Mart was considering putting the rezoning application to a vote. But because it lost by such a wide margin, Wal-Mart is droppings its plans for a vote. Instead, it will look for another site along the southwest corridor.

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