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Caledonia Walmart Plans Take a Hit

Work group reviewing best use of land 4-Mile and Green Bay Roads — where Walmart wants to build — votes to designate property as residential.

Caledonia residents opposed to Walmart's proposal to build a supercenter at 4-Mile and Green Bay roads breathed a sigh of relief Wednesday.

After almost 90 minutes of sometimes raucous discussion Wednesday, a panel looking at the best use of the land just west of CalStar Products — where Walmart wants to build — recommended that the parcels be designated as residential.

Comprised of past and present elected and appointed officials, as well as the original neighborhood planning group, the new land use work group was created to address the land use designation of the area where Walmart wants to build a 182,000-square-foot supercenter.

Before discussion got under way Wednesday, Julie Anderson from the county Planning Department explained two options that were presented to the group:

  • Option 1 identifies the CalStar property as industrial and the parcels at the corner and on the north side of 4-Mile Road as medium-density residential, which would preclude a Walmart from being built there.
  • Option 2 also designates CalStar as industrial, but changes the parcels at the corner to commercial while also changing a swath of land on the north side of 4-Mile Road to commercial backed by medium-density residential. Under that plan, a Walmart could go up in the area — if it received subsequent approval from the Planning Commission and Village Board.

After a heated discussion, the group voted 7-3 to support the first option.

Group member and resident Ted Roeder said it was morally wrong for the village to consider Walmart's request and that the promised jobs won't go to Caledonia residents.

"That shiny brochure from Walmart makes it seem like 250 to 300 jobs will be from Caledonia, but really they'll be from north Racine, so put the Walmart in north Racine," he said to applause and shouts of approval from the audience. 

See Caledonia Patch's complete coverage of the Walmart debate

But Dale Miller, another resident and group member, was having none of it.

"I'm tired of this not-in-my-back-yard nonsense," he said. "But my point is that any development brings with it a need for increased services, and residential is the most of all."

Residents who attended the meeting were shushed more than once, and Village President Bob Bradley finally had to threaten to clear the room if there wasn't more order so the work group could get down to business.

Miller proposed combining the two options by designating CalStar as industrial but designating the parcels in question as mixed use. Members voted 7-3 to reject that idea before voting just a few minutes later to approve the first option as proposed.

Planning Commission members did not participate in the vote since they will take up the matter in June.

After the commission makes its recommendation, the matter will move to the full Village Board, which will schedule a public hearing no sooner than early August. The board would make a final decision sometime after that hearing.

Caledonia Confused May 16, 2013 at 08:24 PM
When I was looking at houses the realtor showed me a house next to a corn field. I asked what could go in there. They said it was zoned for residential and they can only build single family houses. Guess what her answer was when I said I want it put in the offer to purchase that if anything other than a single family house is built next to me the realtor would buy back my house.
Caledonia Confused May 16, 2013 at 08:34 PM
You know the one person who was involved in this from the start of the neighbor planning process to the present? Julie Anderson! She is the one person who should have prevented this from happening in the first place. I know if I let something like this happen at work, the least that would happen would be a good chewing out by my boss! Isn't her ultimate boss County Executive Jim Ladwig. Isn't he a member of the work group? What has he said at any of these meetings?
KEEP ON KEEPING ON May 17, 2013 at 02:19 AM
I did my homework prior to buying my home. I checked the zoning and designated use for that land. I don't own a horse. It's not "In my back yard". But when 10,000+ extra cars come barreling down a street that was never, ever designed for that traffic, needing upgrades WM will never pay for, we all will, I do stand up and say "This is not right". Supporting business that provides a high value tax base, in an appropriate location, is the essence of Smart growth. Appropriate zoning protects every single one of us from having a gas station suddenly pop up at the corner lot of a subdivision. Or a crematorium in that farm field buffering your back yard. We are ALL NIMBYS. There are certain developments that do not mesh well with residential living. Hey, there's an empty field near Deer Creek Estates in Franksville. Let's build a prison. Hey, there are some open lots off of Charles and Erie-WM could go there. It's business, it's $$$. Put a rendering plant in the open field by Prairie Pathways. Drive by the WM in Sturtevant. And then imagine that plopped in a field near you and they decide to use YOUR residential road as a through way, with an entrance like the one off Durand 20 ft from your driveway?? Every community balances the different types of development that come. With more business, you need more rooftops to support. Who the hell would want to move here, build here if zoning can flip flop from RES to COM simply because it's open space?
Caledonia Confused May 17, 2013 at 04:37 AM
Face palm! I wonder if the Village has the software / source documents / knowledge to even change the documents produced by PDI!
Dnaiel J. Phillips May 17, 2013 at 11:49 AM
It's obvious, that there is support for the proposed development, and that there are those who are definately in opposition to it. This question is for KOKO (Kate Tiederman) and the rest of CARP. I remember reading an article on Patch whereas Jim Tiederman was holding up petitions in opposition to WalMart. Are those petitions getting turned in? What if there ends up being more signitures for WalMart than against? Was the past election considered to be a referendum on WalMart?
Tansandy May 17, 2013 at 12:58 PM
Let's settle this once and for all! Caledonia needs to put up a large billboard at it's borders stating, DEVELOPERS DON'T BOTHER COMING TO CALEDONIA. WE HAVE ALL THE TAX MONEY WE NEED. AND WE DON'T WANT "THOSE PEOPLE" FROM RACINE COMING HERE. WE PROMOTE BUILDING IN THE COMMUNITIES AROUND US, SO WE HAVE TO TRAVEL FOR GOODS AND SERVICES. THE GOOD PEOPLE OF CALEDONIA KNOW FAR BETTER WHERE AND WHEN YOU SHOULD BUILD. FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF THINGS WE DON'T WANT HERE, JUST CONTACT THE TIEDERMANS AND CRAP. THEY ARE NOW RUNNING OUR VILLAGE. And that should be the end.
KEEP ON KEEPING ON May 17, 2013 at 02:01 PM
Wow....Have you ever stepped up at a public meeting on this issue and supported this? Do you feel people do not have the right to speak in opposition of something they do not believe in? The biggest proponents of Walmart ARE Walmart. Have you seen Deb T or Lisa Nelson bring forth ANY substantial information on the true benefits and impact of this store in our community? What has stopped any supporter from speaking, from providing support for their view, etc? I don't buy this "I'm too scared of the mob" crap. I haven't punched anyone in the face for disagreeing with me. I personally do not like the attention all this has brought upon me. But I feel CONFIDENT in my belief and my evidence. When did 1 store at 1 location become the salvation of this Village?? Travel for goods and services....Jesus tap-dancing Christ...This isn't Little House on the Prairie. Go buy a box of Kleenex at your nearest Walmart. One is just MINUTES away. If somewhere along this road of BS you think CARP or the Tidermans got put in charge of this Village, well that is news to me. Maybe just maybe this process has highlighted certain people and certain practices that were weak and improper to begin with. If you want something different in Caledonia; if you have convictions you want to share, by all means, rent your billboard and have your voice heard! Run for office, mail out a flier, wear a t-shirt, stand up for what you believe in. And stop whining about others doing the same.
JW May 17, 2013 at 03:46 PM
Ok KEEPER, we get your point. I am generally opinionated and outgoing in that sense when its a topic I believe in. But I am one who would rather discuss something than wear a button, tshirt or put a sign in my yard. Plus, those opposed to anything are more likely to do those things than someone who is a proponent would be. Those opposed to anything tend to be more likely to be offended and perhaps act on something. A pro-Walmart sign on a yard would be more likely to receive backlash from anti-Walmart people than the other way around. That same concept comes into play in public forums. I went to the one at Gifford Elementary and I made sure to talk to the reporters and Walmart people there to let them I know I supported the idea and plans. In the meeting I didnt say as much because the crowd at the meeting was clearly made up 20 to 1 of those who opposed it. The very nature of things like this is that NIMBYs, HORSEYs and any other opposed end up highly motivated to rearrange plans and get to these meetings to display their side. Those who would like more retail development, whether Walmart, Target, or any other... are not as motivated to go attend meetings and be vocal about it. This is why this thing should be based more on a referrendum than on the squeeky wheel factor. In a 20 to 1 style scenario, its harder for most people to speak out against a marority. But a majority viewpoint in a meeting doesn't mean that's the majority viewpoint in a community.
Dnaiel J. Phillips May 17, 2013 at 04:06 PM
Keep On, I'm not sure but I think that some of your latest comment was directed towards me and the majority of it to "Tansandy". (correct me if I'm wrong) I have voiced my opinion on several ocassions to all the members of the Board and the to several Plan Commision members as well. Have I seen anything from Deb T. or Lisa Nelson being substantial in nature: No, but neither has the Board, for that matter you have brought forth information susstantiated by whom? Yourself! You don't have to worry about me being scared of the "mob", I just have better things to do at night then to harass duely elected officials. The biggest proponents of WalMart are WalMart, well myself and my neighbors support WalMart, and none of us have Walton for a last name! Now I answered your questions, it only seems fair that you would answer the three I posed to you earlier.
Dnaiel J. Phillips May 17, 2013 at 04:11 PM
BRAVO JW BRAVO, Well stated point of view. I think another phrase people seem to forget about is; "the SILENT majority".
KEEP ON KEEPING ON May 17, 2013 at 05:03 PM
Well, WM conducted a door to door survey as well as a flier with a response card to add to list of supporters. The card did not offer a no support option. And many of the claims in the flier were very misleading. I have yet to see the results of those efforts. The purpose of the community petition was to show opposition goes beyond the neighborhood. It's still being circulated, I can think of many more pleasurable ways to spend my time than knee-deep in the WM muck for the last 8 months. You realize early on you better come to the table with more valid arguments than a NIMBY whine. Any statement I have given I have given supporting documentation. Traffic numbers, tax numbers, job numbers, etc. I challenged (as many people have) the validity of the 1 housing study presented by Walmart. Deb T presented a question on Wed about whether Caledonia wants more commercial development or not. That is an "all or nothing" type of proposition. Yes, I would like to see more development. I believe that location completely wrong for that type of development and the negative impact it will have is not beneficial to the community. Much of my argument may apply to a WM anywhere in the Village, but the specific impact in that location is overwhelmingly negative. Can you support retail development without supporting that store at that location? I don't want Caledonia void of retail. But I don't support a supercenter at that spot. Whatever the name on the sign.
KEEP ON KEEPING ON May 17, 2013 at 05:05 PM
Still being circulated. I didn't take an exit poll.
CHS May 17, 2013 at 05:05 PM
Ditto. Well said JW.
Urban Pioneer May 17, 2013 at 05:21 PM
The vote was 7-3 Who voted which way on the issue?
Sue Schuit May 17, 2013 at 05:28 PM
Whether pro zoning change or anti zoning change neither side is reflected very positively in some of the above posts. C'mon kids play nice! I agree with CHS - whatever happened to respect for differing opinions? However this shakes out - in the end we are all part of the Caledonia community - whether we live in a subdivision, have 1 acre of land or 80. Caledonia is a diverse community, a bedroom community of Racine and for many, a destination of choice. My largest concern is MY perception of Caledonia's identity. A big-box store in this highly visible location is not what I would like folks to visualize when they enter or exit this community. We are about a lot more than that. A work group member stated at the first meeting that he thought Caledonia was 20 years behind Mount Pleasant (he ultimately voted against the commercial re-zoning option put forth by Mr. Janiuk). Later, at home, my husband stated he thought we were 20 years ahead. I agree. But that is OUR opinion - and we have a right to it - as do we all. This is a very contentious issue - but come on, let's try to leave the insults out of it.
JW May 17, 2013 at 05:36 PM
As I have said before, I prefered the prior propsed location. However, NIMBY's shot down that location. So, since that minority strong armed their opinions and shifted it to the new location, the plans shifted to the new propsed location. I would rather have it at Hwy 31 and 4 Mile road, but I would also rather have it at the proposed location than not have it at all. If traffic goes up.. I am ok with that. If taxes go up a little across the board, I am ok with that too. Traffic going up on 4 mile is certainly no worse than not even having access to that route for nearly 2 years, which is how it has been lately. The hwy 31 and 4 Mile location aleviated most of the traffic issues and put it in an area where there is room for lane expansion to the north too. It was a good location. So... NIMBY set #2... get mad at NIMBY set #1 because they are the ones that pushed it from a better location to a more questionable one. I have no doubt that either proposal will get heavy customer usage. Talking location overall, while on 31 or 32 makes the most sense currently, 4 Mile makes a reasonable growth option from cutting between them. There is a business in the area, post office there... it is close to a potential light rail station should that plan return in the future. Both sides of 4 mile could be developed differently over time. It is not as bad a location as it may seem once the NIMBY factor is removed. We can't be held back by NIMBY thinking forever.
June Hopkins May 17, 2013 at 05:43 PM
@ Dnaiel (is that supposed to be denial?) The petition will be turned in when needed. You better start your own petition in support (I certainly wouldn't believe a stack of cards with two options - one being support and the other just a request for more info - as being total support - but maybe you would?) the election couldn't be a referendum on Walmart support because the candidates were all too "nervous" about stating their actual support for Walmart. But don't worry - there were enough of us who remembered their comments and attitudes from previous Walmart discussions. We got a new president didn't we? @ JW, Tansandy, etc. it's really too bad that you can't have all those opportunities that you desire in Caledonia. Why not seriously consider a move to Mt Pleasant? I'm sure you'd be happy with all those tax savings they get there. NOT!!!
June Hopkins May 17, 2013 at 05:58 PM
@JW & CHS - if you don't mind increased traffic and taxes going up, what are your benefits???? Is it JUST a shorter drive to your Walmart? There are subdivisions in Kenosha and Mt Pleasant very near Walmarts. If your work is north towards Milwaukee as mine is - I pass THREE Walmarts every day. There are subdivisions there too. If that field across from my house or even the one on 31 and Four mile NEED to be built on - then I'd much prefer more homes or even apartments. KEEP business's in business districts. Isn't Husher also designated as a business area? Is that closer for you JW?
KEEP ON KEEPING ON May 17, 2013 at 08:56 PM
JW-I don't believe for 1 second that voices of opposition alone made WM leave the previous location. They face that all the time and they don't care. They certainly would have stopped pursuing this location if "public input" was truly a consideration. They left that location early in the process. Supposedly they had put money towards it but I never saw record of a pre-development agreement. Some other factor(s) were in play that made that location undesirable. On a side note, that location was proposed by WM to be a 114,000 sq ft store to service "the local community". A year later they determined Caledonia needed a 185,000 supercenter at a location more heavily residential with less infrastructure support. I don't think community concerns/needs are their top priority. Profit is. Fine, they are a business. I wish they would cut the crap.
Dnaiel J. Phillips May 17, 2013 at 10:17 PM
June Hopkins, "We got a new President, didn't we!", You actually think that the 60 members of CARP determined the outcome of that race. I stated before on the Patch and I will state it again, The residents of Caledonia wanted a stronger leader. I voted for Mr. Bradley as well as many of my neighbors did. In fact if you look at the over all vote totals, your two canidates should have stayed home. There were more votes cast in the seat 3 race and the incumbant also received more total votes than did our new President. As far as the postcards go Me and many other supporters of WalMart consider them as good as any petition your group is and will be circulating. I guess we wait and see, who ends up with the bigger numbers. KOKO, You still haven't answered my questions, or is June "I live on 4 mile and comment under a different name" Hopkins the PR person for CARP. Sue, You seem like a reasonable person, but after hearing about how the CARP contingent was talking over and interupting the process at the workgroup meeting, maybe you should teach the members of your PAC to "RESPECT DIFFERING OPINIONS"!
Caledonia Confused May 17, 2013 at 11:30 PM
http://caledonia.patch.com/articles/residents-no-to-walmart-yes-to-smaller-retail Patch Headline: "Residents: 'No' to Walmart, 'Yes' to Smaller Retail" The majority of the people who spoke at the May 1st meeting supported Mixed Use and a "Big Box Store" ordinance. Read the meeting minutes on the Village website. Looks like the work group DID NOT give the residents what they wanted. I implore the plan commission and village board to give them what they actually asked for.
KEEP ON KEEPING ON May 17, 2013 at 11:56 PM
CC-The support of mixed use and a big box ordinance was within the VC-M, specifically along Douglas Avenue and maintaining residential designation for the areas west of the train tracks. The adjoining language to the decision of supporting Option 1 by the workgroup on Wednesday removed the area west of the train tracks as part of the VC-M and in fact increased the area of mixed-use within the VC-M. Mixed use as defined by the 2035 Plan, the 2006 plan inherently supports the idea of smaller scale, neighborhood level retail. And the recommended map defines Mixed use as residential and commercial. Most certainly a future refinement of the 2006 plan could include specific large retail exclusionary language within the VC-M. So the work group did offer option 1, the approved option, as a response to the public input.
Caledonia Confused May 18, 2013 at 01:02 AM
KOKO, I am not seeing anything in the meeting minutes that SPECIFICALLY state along Douglas Ave only. There are notes about attached comments which are NOT included in the minutes on the village website.
KEEP ON KEEPING ON May 18, 2013 at 01:35 AM
Tony Meredith : quote from Mark Janiuk on Village website regarding beauty of open spaces,and advisability of commercial development being located I-94, Hwy 32 and in industrial park. Veronica Svoboda: expresses concern about traffic impact,Green Bay Road is not designed for large scale development. Highway 32 or 31 would be more acceptable. Kathleen Froode : encourage following land use plan; support Village-wide “no bigbox store" ordinance, if anywhere, place at I-94 and 7 mile Rd. Sue Schuitt: submits the results from April 6,2005 UWM focus group study--believes applicable today with or without train and transit being part of LUP. Study specifically opposes bigbox stores. Suggests use of buffer zone. Katie Tiderman HWY 32 area best for development honor existing zoning, provide for buffering of existing residential area,keep 2035 plan Jon Schattner stated that commercial development should occur along major highways or at intersections, that hwy 32 is the preferable direction for development. * Several comments included discussion of buffer, step down between commercial and residential. Also discussed I-94 as preferable location, though the VC's located in those areas were not part of the workgroup focus.
June Hopkins May 18, 2013 at 01:41 AM
Dnaiel, I have NO aliases and so far have not joined CARP - but I'll have to get on that. You missed the part of my post regarding the total lack of information available pertaining to the inclinations of ALL but a few of the candidates prior to the election. Our candidate lacked the name recognition and money necessary for a successful run and I'm sorry for that. I did guess correctly that the Walmart cards would be good enough for you. Oh how I wish Walmart wanted to build in your neighborhood cause 98% of all homeowners the length of NGB road, on 4 mile road, and on 3 mile road, want Walmart to GO AWAY.
Dnaiel J. Phillips May 19, 2013 at 01:26 AM
June, One would think you were apart of CARP especially after you state; "Our canidate lacked name recognition and money". I seem to remeber YOUR canidates getting alot of press time on the Patch. Jim "I'm dropping out of the race" Tiederman, even got a video spot on the Patch. And Maureen "I'll tweet Walkers a douchebag" Kramer, got her fair share of space on the Patch.
Tansandy May 21, 2013 at 10:31 AM
I sure am disappointed. I was hoping to win the lottery. With the extra money I could hire me a lawyer, set up an LLC, form a vigilante group called COBC(citizens offended by CARP), and intimidate the Village board into building a Walmart where I think it should be. Well, better luck next time.
shutthefrontdoor May 21, 2013 at 09:14 PM
and that would be in your back yard? ;)
Christine Ballewske May 25, 2013 at 02:26 AM
The reason they want it is because of money, they will not have to do anything to the property but build there. Cheap Cheap Cheap...........the place does not belong dropped into a neighborhood!!! It's not just WM, its any BIG BOX!!! We do not beed nor want it there, why can't they get it through their thick heads!!!!
Anthony Ramos June 04, 2013 at 11:48 AM
Caledonia needs something other than a huge Quarry and an Ace Hardware. Tired of driving 25 minutes to go to a store. Bring businesses here take advantage of the tax revenue.

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