I lived in Palms, Ca, a section of Los Angeles on the west side, for 20 ish years. Within a half-mile radius the following was available: -- 2 Ralph's (Kroger), 2 Albertson's, 1 Von's, 2 Traders, 3 Thrifty Drugs, 1 Long's Drugs, 4 Starbuck's, 1 Noah's Bagels, 1 Coldstone Creamery, 1 Baskin Robbins, 4 hardware stores, 1 Ross, 1 Office Max, 1 Kinko's, 1 PIP, 1 Staples............that is just a sampling. Cuisine choices included -- German, Thai, Vietnamese, various Chinese, Japanese, various Italian, various deli, various bakery/donut, Brazilian (and when they win the World Cup they do know how to party), Mexican, Guatemalan, Salvadoran, Ethiopian, various vegetarian (there was a large Krisna Temple), Indian, and one really great pastrami stand run by a Chinese guy. There was a luthier, a store of musical instruments from India (and another with records and movies).
Sure wasn't Los Alamos.
Of course, within a half-mile radius there were over 150,000 people to support all that shopping. The cuisine available relected the people -- oh add Venezuela and Argentina to the mix.
Sure wasn't Los Alamos.
I lived 2 blocks from the major employer in the area -- Sony/Columbia/MGM studio complex, each of which brings in more money than the Lab could ever dream of.
Sure wasn't Los Alamos. And in what Nightmare Fantasy could Los Alamos ever begin to even approach a neighborhood of that amount of diversity and size?
Yet this is precisely the lifestyle that many people in Los Alamos are complaing they want and can't get and either don't understand why they can't it, or are in such desperately deep denial that they simply refuse to get it. To them, Los Alamos is a podunk nothing -- conveniently ignoring the fact that they couldn't get a job in Podunck if their lives depended on it. But they are the squeaky wheel and expect a lot of grease. Unfortunately, County seems determined to grease a wheel that no amount grease will satisfy.
The Plan is simple -- centralize Downtown Los Alamos into an Office Park surrounded by a Shopping Plaza. This requires eliminating any competition from neighborhood shopping of almost any kind. It requires giving people no option other than to Shop Downtown -- or go elsewhere.
Reality Check: Target has already said No to Los Alamos. We don't fit the market profile. Ditto K-Mart, Traders, Whole Foods. Walgreens is an iffy maybe. Los Alamos is geographically, economically, and socially isolated. Though the population within a 40 mile radius is said to be 215,000, there are no out-lying smaller markets that can be captured. The actual market size of Los Alamos is the population of Los Alamos. Commuters don't count since most people do thier principal shopping close to home. Commuters from SF certainly don't count since they have more available to them where they live than is available where the work.
Los Alamos is not, nor can it ever be, Urban. The wannbe urbanization of Los Alamos will only result in Los Alamos as an Urban Wannabe Failure.