ST. CLOUD -- Despite several residents speaking out against the project, the St. Cloud City Council has given their first official approval of a plan to allow Costco to move into town.

The city council held a public hearing Monday night to rezone 18 acres of Heritage Park from residential to commercial.  The remaining 70 acres won't change. The action passed unanimously.

The people who spoke out against the project were mainly opposed to the idea of losing the wooded area, and also the idea of another big box retailer coming into town.  None of the residents who spoke were in favor of the proposal.

Monday's action was only to rezone the land, the actual purchase agreement, and the surrounding road construction actions will come at a future city council meeting -- possibly later this month.

The money collected by the city from the sale of the land would be used to buy additional parkland in other areas as of town, as well as make upgrades to other parks in town.

The Costco store is proposed to be built at the corner of 2nd Street and 33rd Avenue South.

If it is built, the skate park will have to move to the south of its current site.  City Council member Dave Masters says Costco would pay for the cost to move the skate park.  The Stearns History Museum will stay where it is at.

map courtesy of the city of St. Cloud