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Natural Grocers May Be Coming To Los Alamos

on February 17, 2019 - 7:18am
At its Feb. 27 meeting, P&Z will consider a lot split and site plan to pave the way for a Natural Grocers on Trinity Drive. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos Daily Post
The options of where to get groceries in Los Alamos could be expanding. Feb. 27, the Los Alamos Planning and Zoning Commission will consider a lot split and site plan that would pave the way for a Natural Grocers.
County Planning Manager Tamara Baer

Los Alamos County Planning Manager Tamara Baer explained that the lot split is proposed at the Shriners’ building site on Trinity Drive. The larger parcel that faces Trinity would be the future home for the Natural Grocers. The Shriners’ building would get demolished and the organization would move to the smaller lot and build a new building.

She said the property will be sold to Leadership Circle, LLC., a real estate developer in Montrose, Colo. Baer added that discussion about bringing a new “specialty retailer” to Los Alamos has been happening for about a year, but it was more recently known that the business would be a Natural Grocers.

Baer added that the County’s Interdepartmental Revenue Committee (IDRC) is recommending approval of the site plan for the new business and lot split.

“It meets all code requirements, which is the basis for recommending approval,” she said.

Baer pointed out that the new business also could help the County further its economic development goals as well as assist with revitalizing the downtown area.

“It meets several of the goals of the comprehensive plan and the council’s strategic leadership plan,” she said.

Not everyone welcomes a natural food grocery store moving into town. Los Alamos Co-op Market General Manager Tim Morrison said he personally isn’t terribly pleased with the news.

The national grocery store chain Natural Grocers sells organic food, a variety of environmentally-friendly products and vitamins and could bring much competition to the locally owned Co-op Market. According to the Natural Grocers website, the company was founded in 1955 and has 140 stores across 19 states in the U.S.

“There will need to be some adjustment because it will impact us,” Morrison said. “We are prepared and trying to improve ourselves in general … we’re trying to save up cash and be as prepared as we can be.”

If P&Z approves the recommendation, which is not required to go before County Council, Baer said the next step would be a review of a building permit for the store.

The commission meets at 5:30 p.m., Feb. 27 in Council Chambers in the Municipal Building at 1000 Central Ave. The meeting is open to the public.