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Stuart commissioners vote unanimously to approve Costco after hours of debate

Though not finalized, vote paves way for Costco to be built near Martin County High School
Posted at 10:08 PM, May 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-25 08:14:41-04

STUART, Fla. — The proposal to bring a Costco to Stuart had residents and city officials debating into the late hours of Monday night.

"We don't want all these people, all this development, coming to a small area like this," said resident Daniel Marshall. "They're going to tear down all kinds of land and cut down all kinds of trees, ruin all the woods and the wetlands they're trying to destroy, man."

Among the top concerns were the environment and potential traffic.

"We can barely handle the traffic here now, to be honest," said Marshall.

The 49-acre lot would also be house a gas station, two restaurants and nearly 400 apartment units.

RELATED: Stuart residents protest new proposed Costco, apartment complex

"Affordable housing is definitely needed in Martin County," said resident Debbie Greer. "Our teachers, policemen, firemen, they don't live in Martin County, because they can't afford to."

Greer said she thinks the Costco would bring an economic boom.

"Because of the tax revenue, the sales tax, the impact fees, property taxes that would have to be paid -- all of that income to benefit the citizens of Martin County," said Greer.

After hours of debate, city commissioners voted unanimously to move forward with the project. The decision came about 2 a.m. Tuesday.

"It's just not a good place, man," said Marshall. "They should go somewhere else."

Commissioners approved the first reading of an ordinance to rezone the property to allow for the development.

The item must still go through a second reading before it is a done deal. No timeline has been set for when that will happen.

However, commissioners acknowledged many people left the overnight meeting before having their opportunity to speak during public comment, so they plan to adjust the format before that next discussion.

Read more about the proposal here.