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7:29 PM Sat, Nov. 17th

Letter: Chino Valley grocery stores

Dear Editor:

Mr. Paul Knudsen asked the question “Is it true that a vote was made years ago that restricted the number of grocery stores in Chino Valley to one store?” in a letter to the CVR Editor on July 31. We routinely hear similar questions and rumors regarding a second grocer in Chino Valley. The answer is no.

There has never been a non-compete agreement between the Town of Chino Valley and Safeway. However, that does not preclude a private non-compete agreement between a private landlord and former tenant for a particular site.

Safeway has served our community members well since 1986, and has been at their current site since 2001. In 1986, Chino Valley had roughly 3,500 residents. Today, including Paulden and other local unincorporated areas, there are about 23,000 residents served by Safeway. We recognize that with this size service area, additional choices are needed.

Contrary to other rumors, there are potential retail sites in Chino Valley that already have both water and sewer service in place. When we do attract the right retailers to a location where utilities are not yet available (Outer Loop and 89 or others), the financial benefits would probably surpass the costs and the Town would likely find a way to partner with a developer to extend utilities to the location.

Attracting at least one additional grocer and other compatible retail businesses to Chino Valley are among the top priorities identified by the Mayor, Town Council, and Town Manager. We have and will continue to reach out to as many grocers as possible until we are able to bring the right one to town. The grocer, our citizens, and the Town’s sales tax coffers will all benefit!

To date, some have expressed interest, but because of the high cost of commercial development and the changing retail market, are reluctant to invest in developing a center on their own. We are reaching out to commercial developers and site selectors to create the right “marriage.” While we have no definite prospects or timeline, “as soon as possible” is our goal!

John Coomer

Economic Development Project Management

Town of Chino Valley