Walmart Land Use Group Meetings Back On

A new schedule is in place so the village - and Walmart - will know the future of the land at 4-Mile and Green Bay Roads.

The work group addressing land use where Walmart wants to build in Caledonia is back on a schedule and has two new members.

Planning Commission members Wednesday approved a new timeline that could lead to a decision for Walmart by the end of the summer.

Walmart has submitted rezoning and land use plan amendment applications for the farm field at 4-Mile and Green Bay Roads so the company can build a 182,000 square foot supercenter. Resident opposition has been fierce with most people pointing out that the site is not appropriate.

To help reconcile inconsistencies in the zoning and the land use plans, Village Administrator Mark Janiuk and Attorney Elaine Ekes suggested the original neighborhood planning group be brought back together - with Plan Commission members - to plan for the future of that site. 

The group was to have met for the first time on so he could have some time to get more familiar with the issues.

On Wednesday, he told the commission that he was adding Roger Wipf from KMart and Kevin Milaeger from Milaeger's to the group.

"I felt there were some people missing so I think having Roger and Kevin participate will help even out the group," he said.

Janiuk passed out a new meeting schedule, noting the timeline is still rather aggressive because it doesn't do anyone any good to drag out the process any longer than necessary.

"It doesn’t do anyone - not Walmart or the people opposed to Walmart - any good to drag this out," he said. "This is an attempt for a decision so we can all move on with our lives."

Bradley made sure to mention that the focus of the work group should be a vision for the site and not Walmart.

"One of the critical things is that is not about Walmart or any business; it’s about the comp plan and that should be the focus," he said. "We have to remember this could be any business and only focus on the impacts of making the amendment."

After the meeting, Katie Tiderman said she appreciates Bradley adding two more retail members to the group and she hopes he has someone else in mind - she'd like Roundy's - if Milaeger falls through.

"I hope that if Milaeger is unable to participate then (Bradley) reaches out to Roundy's because they were part of the original group and can offer good insight into the demographics and shopping habits of the village," she said.

Trustee Kevin Wanggaard is new to the Planning Commission this cycle and said he agrees with the process, but thinks the village needs to multi-task and look at other village centers.

"This is just one piece of the puzzle," he said. "We're going to have water and sewer going out to the expressway so we're going to have to focus on those areas to start attracting good businesses to help us grow our tax base."

Here is the schedule as approved by the Planning Commission Wednesday:

  • May 1, 6 p.m.: Collect public input
  • May 15, 6 p.m.: Work/discussion
  • June 5, 6 p.m.: Work/discussion
  • June 19, 6 p.m.: final recommendation by majority vote to Planning Commission
  • June 26, 6 p.m.: Planning Commission meets to consider the work group's recommendation and then vote on a recommendation to the village board
  • July 1, 7 p.m.: Village Board meets to set a public hearing date to consider the commission's recommendation
  • Aug. 12: Public hearing

The Village Board will act on the Planning Commission's recommendation Aug. 19 at their regularly scheduled board meeting.

KEEP ON KEEPING ON April 25, 2013 at 04:47 PM
Wait....this is a Walmart Land Use Group? Headline of the Racine Journal Times says Deadline set for Walmart Decision? But our Village President says this is not about Walmart? But they sit on the Workgroup panel? Its....a....joke...
Sue Schuit April 25, 2013 at 05:34 PM
I totally agree. For the majority of the audience last night who sat through 2 hours of the PC meeting before the scarcely more than 10 minutes addressing this issue - I think I can say that my feelings of disappointment and anger were shared. There are so many unanswered ?'s which I am beginning to think will remain that way - by choice. Why is the Walmart attorney still on the WALMART LAND USE group? Why is Calstar still on the WALMART LAND USE group? Why have requests for public record (and there have been many) re: WALMART not yet been shared? Why are there not 29 members of the WALMART LAND USE group as stated in previous minutes? The questions go on and on and the above are just a few. And, Mr Bradlee, I personally found your rather condescending reminder to the group last night stating this is not about WALMART a slap in the face for all of us who have spent countless hours, researching, reading, compiling facts, discussing with others more informed than us and spending many hours going to meetings to make informed choices an insult. We all know what this is about regardless if you are for or against the recommendation the WALMART LAND USE group will make. I personally believe that the election for the new Caledonia Village President was determined in large part over this issue, and I, for one, am less than enthused over what I am seeing to date. It will be interesting to see who the new members of the PC are. Will they be part of the WALMART LAND USE group?
Dnaiel J. Phillips April 25, 2013 at 06:07 PM
Really? The C.A.R.P movement is at it again! Let the board and the PC do their jobs! Mrs. Schiut you act as if the 20 members of C.A.R.P made the difference in the Village Presidential election, you are seriously mistaken. Your little group of ant-development tree huggers, had nothing to do with who won the Presidents seat, people like me just wanted stronger leadership. To prove my point, look at the vote totals, Wanggaard got more votes than Bradley and your groups canidate only got 32% of the vote in that race. Proves to me that your not the majority. Nice try whinners, now let the duely elected officials and oppointees do their jobs.
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) April 25, 2013 at 06:45 PM
@KOKO - Not a Walmart land use group, but how to properly title the story is always a hard one for me ... so I went with what people will search in regard to the issue. And despite some disagreement like what's stated here - this really isn't about Walmart now. This is about the use of the land even though the Walmart applications were the trigger. I know there are points to be made about not changing anything and not having to look at this or that but deciding now what that site could look like in the future is the better way to go in the long run.
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) April 25, 2013 at 06:46 PM
@Sue - members of the Planning Commission are automatically a part of the work group since the group was designed even originally to include members of the Plan Commission.
Sue Schuit April 25, 2013 at 07:41 PM
Thanks Heather, for that information. I believe two members of the PC are leaving so am I right in my assumption that 2 will be appointed? If so, that means, according to previous minutes, that there are still open slots on the work group? This has been an oft-asked question and hopefully, it will prove to be a moot point for on-going strategic planning. Actually, I was hoping to put many on-going questions to rest and, I feel, a few have resurfaced... And thank you Mr. Phillips for your opinion and statistics. I do not personally agree with some of your points or expressions as you do not mine, but that is what debate and open forums are all about.
San April 26, 2013 at 12:13 PM
I think the article is appropriately titled as everyone knows what this is "all about" even if officials try to make it seem like it is not really about Walmart. "pay no attention to that big box store behind the curtain", folks.....
Heather Asiyanbi (Editor) April 26, 2013 at 01:43 PM
@Sue - My understanding is that 2 commissioners had reached the end of their term but I believe they were allowed to re-apply at the same time residents had the opportunity to apply. Aside from adding the 2 new retail members, I don't believe there are any plans to put forth any more names before the group officially starts work on May 1.


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