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Walmart Rezone Request on Plan Commission Agenda

Planning Commission members will discuss how to proceed with Walmart's rezoning and land use amendment applications.

Caledonia Planning Commission members will talk about how best to proceed now that Walmart has submitted both a rezoning application and a land use amendment for the land at the southeast corner of 4-Mile and Green Bay Roads.

According to the meeting agenda, the discussion comes under new business right after the anticipated approval of a certified survey map for the new property for A&W.    

Walmart is interested in building a 180,000 square foot supercenter similiar to the store on Durand Avenue in Mount Pleasant.

Village Attorney Elaine Ekes announced at the Jan. 21 Village Board meeting that Walmart earlier this month submitted an application for a land use amendment because the Racine County overlay plan does not match Caledonia's comprehensive plan. She also told trustees and gathered residents that the store's proposal will be on the Jan. 30 Plan Commission agenda.

"Adopting a comprehensive plan amendment for this property would align the Racine County Plan with the Caledonia Plan and the uses intended for the property," the application from Walmart reads. 

This isn't Walmart's first attempt at building a store in Caledonia. The retail giant originally wanted the site at the northeast corner of 4-Mile Road and Highway 31, but the village's land use plan specifically calls for that land to remain green space.

Now, though, Walmart is looking at 4-Mile and Green Bay Roads, and there appears to be some ambiguity about the new site because Caledonia's comp plan allows for a mix of commercial and retail development there.

Ekes reminded everyone that the discussion at Plan Commission is not a public hearing but it is a meeting open to the public. She also noted that any decisions will be made only by the village.

"I would remind all of you that the Plan Commission is a recommend-only board and ultimately, the decision is up to the Village Board," Ekes said.

The Plan Commission meeting begins at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the East Side Community Center, 6156 Douglas Avenue.

Caledonia Confused January 30, 2013 at 11:00 PM
A-C train stop connections?
KEEP ON KEEPING ON January 31, 2013 at 02:32 AM
Brian-I didn't write it-it's language directly from our plan. So if it sound ridiculous to you, maybe an incentive to push for a proper revision of the LUP and not one WM strong armed and driven. According to their own spokesperson this evening, they are very concerned with OUR village land use plan and these "inconsistencies". What a load of crap.
Brian Dey January 31, 2013 at 12:50 PM
KOKO- I know you are new to issues of the village government, spurred to interest by the Walmart talks, but I think you need a little history lesson. During the timing and development of the Land Use Plan, the then Town Board and President were made up af a singular minded membership representing a special interest group. The motto was "Save Don't Pave." Their wish and their goal was to block almost all commercial development. They were successful in demonizing business development, placing fear into residents that Caledonia was going to paved over and lose it's rural character. Many of us agreed as long as the tax base could support services. Well that train left the station a long time ago. Staff has been reduced highway, eliminated in parks and rec, and our level of police and fire personnel is below comparable municipalities. Employees of the village went through pay freezes, benefit contributions, etc... A lot of work has been done behind the scenes to keep the taxes low, and now with caps, these departments will face much of the same. Further, by adopting smart growth and some of the strictest greenspace requirements, many developers won't even look our way. We've zoned whole areas of the village as 5 acre minimal residential, further obstructing substantial increases in tax base, require commercial developers to have 40% greenspace and the list goes on and on for why business, large or small, refuse to look our way. cont...
Brian Dey January 31, 2013 at 01:01 PM
KOKO: cont... The Conservancy strategically bought up large parcels of land on Hwy 31 to prevent commercial development along our busiest corridor. At every step of the way, including the development of the Land Use Plan that you are only endeared to because it currently favors your cause, was done to purposefully block any meaningful commercial development. So to hang your hat on that plan, you should know the history. Frances Martin was a big part of that movement and that is why I sarcastically made the comments above. And the UW study you keep referring to is a joke. Very unprofessional, done by undergraduates and highly suspect. While Walmart doesn't run this community, nor should special interests. The Land Use Plan is not a "forever" document. It is a living, breathing document that will through time and necessity, be changed, modified or tweaked based on conditions that are always in flux. I have made it clear that in no way, shape or form want Walmart on that site. And I have made it abundantly clear that the LUP needs to be changed to reflect the needs of the village, not special interest groups. Make no mistake, these special interest groups are only really looking out for their interests.
San April 04, 2013 at 11:32 AM
Walmart of course is a special interest in its own unique category. Their part in the planning of the future of this community has nothing to do with the benefit to the community and everything to do with their own private vested interests. Having an attorney representing Walmart on a Village Land Use Plan Review Committee is clearly opening the door to an extremely aggressive and well-funded private corporation, not based in this community, nor with ties to this community, to dramatically influence the potential outcome for their own, not the village's or the residents' benefit. When we talk about "special interests" we should not forget the enormous power and control that private corporations such as Walmart exert, and how many communities have had to suffer due to undue influence of outside companies coming in and changing the landscape. numerous studies show impacts such as loss of local businesses, funds getting sucked out of the local community to the corporate headquarters, and the loss of quality of life factors including pollution, noise, congestion, crime and higher property taxes that the citizens are saddled with to support this special interest not rooted in the community.

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