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Walmart Makes Formal Requests For Planned Caledonia Superstore

Walmart has presented plans to build a superstore in Caledonia, which hundreds of residents oppose. The land eyed for the store—at 4 Mile and Green Bay roads—would need to be rezoned.

Walmart has formally requested to rezone land at the southeast corner of 4 Mile and North Green Bay roads, which is needed before the company can build a superstore there.

In September, Walmart announced to Caledonia residents and officials that it would like to build a 180,000-square-foot 24-hour general merchandise store at that location. Company officials say the store will create 300 jobs, most of which are expected to be full-time. Caledonia Patch will upload a copy of documents related to the request as soon as we get them.

In the packed boardroom Tuesday night, Walmart also requested the village board enter into a pre-development agreement with them, which the Board granted.

A pre-development agreement allows the village to charge potential developers for review time of their planning documents. Several other developments – Siena Center, Unico, and Parkview Gardens – also had pre-development agreements. However, the required agreement doesn’t mean the village board will approve the project.

Four board members—Kathy Trentadue, Kevin Wanggaard, Ron Coutts, and Jim Dobbs—voted to approve the request. Tom Weatherston and Kathy Burton were absent, and Lee Wishau abstained from voting because he works for Roundy's, which operates Pick'n Save and is a competitor of Walmart.

We'll have a more complete report later tonight.

Brian Dey December 05, 2012 at 12:35 PM
I was at that meeting and yes, the pitch forks and torches were out in full force. One thing to clear up. The pre-development agreement for that parcel and their agents have every right to be heard, just like any other property owner. There is a process to be heard and this is step one. The village board is following the statutes and ordinaces in place. That is their job. It is in place so that mob mentality doesn't rule the roost and all landowners are treated equally. Of interest was that all those that were in attendance lived in a small radius around the proposed development. The board is responsible not just to those people, but to the entire village. When I heard shouts out about how board members were rushing this through and they felt betrayed, my first thought was these people did not listen to anything the board was telling them. They were on a mission and understandably so, but the board has a job to do, legally. But Tansandy is absolutely right about the land use plan that left very little wiggle room business development. There were people their that had a very narrow interest and made it nearly impossible for the village to sustain the basic services. If you want a bed and breakfast community, you picked the wrong spot to live. As the last large stretch of open land between Milwaukee and Chicago, this area will be targeted more in the coming years.
Carl Granetzke December 05, 2012 at 02:33 PM
The anwser to the "no Walmart debate seems so simple. Go to the site and then go up North green bay road and the 4 Mile road and count the "no walmart signs" . So who wants the Walmart in this wrong location? Walmart does not rule Caledonia.
KEEP ON KEEPING ON December 05, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Brian-Very, very unfair painting of that meeting crowd last night. Those concerned sat through 2 presentations from Walmart but have yet a venue to have a dialogue with their Board. At the October 23rd meeting, very few concerns relative to the presentation were brought up by the board, when October 17th a considerable amount of concerns were raised. And one may wonder if our Joint board members had voiced concerns with location, zoning, land use, road issues, Walmart may have backed off at that point. Every citizen has a right to question and get information about issues in their community and every person had a right to be there last night. Wouldn't it be nice if more people engaged in our local government on a regular basis? Not everyone understood exactly what a pre-development agreement was. Although I read this ordinance very thoroughly, I wanted a chance to make sure I was fully informed. And yes, fear and emotion do come into play. Some may be concerned about our board drinking the Walmart Kool Aid. But Pitch forks and torches?? What a load of manure.
KEEP ON KEEPING ON December 05, 2012 at 02:53 PM
Oh, and if I may say: Our Land Use Plan is not law and should be reviewed-I believe every 10 yrs is called for. But don't throw out the baby with the bathwater: Much of it has meaning, merit and substance. And a vital part of that is responsible growth and planning for the ENTIRE village in regards to residential, commercial, rural and industry. You don't put a prison near a grade school. You don't build a home by Red Lobster in front of a Pick n Save. And you don't plop a 185,000 sq ft ANYTHING in a lot surrounded on 3 sides by residential zoning. Development and change will come. Walmart should NOT be dictating where and how that happens.
screwprogress December 05, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Carl, I would then advise you to drive the remainder of the 45 square miles of Caledonia and count the yard signs. ( or lack thereof). Then you would truly have your answer! Bring on wal-mart!
Dave Larsen December 05, 2012 at 03:44 PM
I am not anti-Walmart, but I am anti- GreenBay Rd @ FourMile Rd, just as I was anti- Hwy31 @ Four Mile Rd. I wholeheartedly agree with the comment "...you don't plop a 185,000 sq ft ANYTHING in a lot surrounded on 3 sides by residential zoning." And I have another concern- who's going to pay to upgrade FourMile Rd and GreenBay Rd to handle all the truck traffic necessary to keep a 185,000 sq-ft store in operation 24 hrs/day? Or maybe St. Moinca's will lease there parking lot as a staging area (kidding). There has GOT to be a site on Douglas Ave between FourMile and SixMile that is way more suitable; after all, isn't that stretch "Downtown Caledonia" ? And now that the SixMile @ 31 @ 32 roundabout seems dead, there should be room around there.
screwprogress December 05, 2012 at 03:53 PM
The industrial park on Nicholson Rd. has truck traffic 24 hours a day and is built on if not lesser quality, at least equal quality roads and it seems to handle it just fine. It also borders residential neighborhoods. Midland Containers loading docks abut residential properties and is as big as any Wal-mart. Keep grasping at straws.
KEEP ON KEEPING ON December 05, 2012 at 03:58 PM
How about they buy Wind Point School? Would that location be appropriate? Would that not serve the most densely populated area of Caledonia including Wind Point? Right now they have no retail servicing them. They have to drive. District could use the money to build a new school. Could make access off a residential road to 4 mile. Big enough lot. I know it's not zoned for it. Do you think that would fly? Mr. Screw-do you feel the proposed site lot is appropriate for that type of development? Do you feel large scale retail should be allowed to be built within residential zoning? See, I for one don't want to screw progress. How about promote responsibly?
KEEP ON KEEPING ON December 05, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Midland is Manufacturing. Read the zoning description. How many police calls does Midland get?? Does midland get 1000 car trip shoppers per day? 80-90 semi deliveries per week? Daily shoppers in and out all day long, or do they work in shifts? Do they have grocery bags, grocery carts, pallets of products like fertilizer. Do they have a Black Friday? Their hours of operation are not 24 hrs, correct? That comparison is a joke. I would welcome a Midland type light manufacturing on the proposed lot. Part of the lot is zoned for it.
patchreader 123 December 05, 2012 at 05:04 PM
@ screwprogress Comparisons to the industrial park? Really?? You're the one grasping at straws here. The people protesting the Walmart at 4 mi / NGBR have peacefully co-existed with an industrial facility in their back yard for many years - the facility now housing Calstar Products; a business that converts fly ash into brick. How is such a peaceful co-exitence possible? Because it is not obtrusive to those neighboring residents. The facility does not intrude on the lives of neighboring residents with 24 hour traffic, all-night parking lot lights, and an attraction of crime from surrounding areas. Furthermore, the facility pays adequate property taxes without draining the Village of community of services, such as police responses to petty, 24 hour retail-related crimes.
patchreader 123 December 05, 2012 at 05:52 PM
@ tansandy "No, the neighborhood planning was a bad dream of someones, railroaded through our Village. I know, I was on the committee for a short time. Then I left ......[a]nd now, if not changed, it will stifle growth and only mean more tax increases in the future." So, instead of trying to achieve change from the planning you deemed unreasonable, you quit. It thus appears that you should accept some blame for any "stifling of growth" and future "tax increases." Instead, you blame those residents following the "neighborhood planning" that you abandoned, and denigrate the present Village Board for attempting to work within such plans? Quit and blame others for playing within the rules you left behind, right? Could it be that all of your combative, denigrating comments are driven by guilt? Or, more importantly, perhaps your "build it, I will come!!!" view of the Walmart issue exceeds factual reasonability because you simply have an axe to grind? Thanks for showing your hand. No, really, thanks. I (and others) can now safely disregard any further comment from you as lacking in reason.
Brian Dey December 05, 2012 at 08:50 PM
KOKO- Really? Unfair? The board president gave a thorough explanation of the meaning of the pre-development agreement, not once, but several times. As did the village attorney. Yet several members of your group kept badgering them. A lot of applause by your group were heard during the betrayal comment yelled out of order. As board members, they are obligated to listen to all sides. The owner of that parcel has every right to explore and explain all options for possible use of his/her land. I'll use this example. You want to place an oversized garage on your property. Your immediate neighbors don't want that ugly oversized garage in next to them. On one it obstructs the sun from reaching their backyard ruining their plans for a pool. The only persons complaining are the immediate neighbors. The rest of the neighborhood doesn't complain. The board votes that you cannot build the oversized garage. Would you want to plead your case, or just have it thrown out before you get a chance to present your plan? The planning commission and board did that with Camping World and nearly got sued. They are protecting our interests by following the statutes and ordinances. If the village gets sued, all property owners pay for it. Unless your group is willing to take on that financial responsibility alone, let the board do their job. You don't need to be calling them and swearing at them.
Brian Dey December 05, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Carl- And neither does a handful of residents. You seem to forget that while you may be directly impacted by the location, the rest of us are impacted if the process isn't allowed its due process.
Brian Dey December 05, 2012 at 08:53 PM
KOKO- Wind Point school is in Wind Point and it is not the village board's job to represent Wind Point.
Brian Dey December 05, 2012 at 08:59 PM
Dave- I agree that it is a poor location. The problem is that there is not a site on 32 that makes sense. Prior boards, that also wanted the Douglas Ave. corridor, rezoned areas and put in residential housing, almost making it impossible for any large stores to go in the Douglas Ave. corridor. The roundabout is already going to be taking up land and possibly closing a business. Beyond Six Mile to the north maybe the only possibility, but that may even be a reach because you lose the rooftops. The logical location would be Hwy 31 and Four Mile. Most of the infrastucture is in place and there is room for a decent commercial corridor. There maybe room for that same commercial corridor along the new 38, but agin, you lose the rooftops.
Frances Martin December 05, 2012 at 09:40 PM
The lack of antiWalmart signs certainly doesn't mean the inhabitants approve of or want Walmart anywhere. It's not true that the people at last night's meeting are immediate neighbors of the proposed project,either. I was present at the meeting, and thought that Ron Coutts did a good job of allowing those present to speak within the limits of what was on the agenda. And I observed that the crowd was quite polite--those speaking, and those listening. The real issues will come up at the planning commission, and then when the Board meets on the actual merits of the proposed project. It's not in my back yard, but I still oppose it. The Village's development analysis showed that big box stores are a net tax drain,and Walmart seems to be on the high cost end of the spectrum because of traffic volume and police issues. I think a manufacturing plant would be much more beneficial both in terms of tax revenue and acceptability to the neighbors.
KEEP ON KEEPING ON December 05, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Brian Dey- I have never called or sworn at any member of the board. And If you know people whom are doing that, address it with them. Listening to both sides is correct. The community should be on the agenda to voice their side as well, whether for or against, just as you say our Board should and must do for Walmart. It was a public meeting; a civil discourse peppered with some emotion (from the crowd and the board, understandable) . That is what should be happening. Both sides of every issue have some more vocal, radical or inappropriate than the norm. You don't dismiss all for the actions of a few.
Brian Dey December 05, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Fran- Unfortunately there are no manufacturers looking at Caledonia at this time. I will rephrase that it was the vast majority of neighbors of the site that were present. There will be a place and time for public input on which we agree. But I believe the board needs to so its due diligence and proceed the way the statutes and ordinances are stated. I think if we don't, then Walmart or the current landowner would have legal recourse which would cost all of us. As it is, there may have been issues with what was discussed and what was noticed.
Sheila Bielefeldt December 06, 2012 at 02:28 AM
So Brian Dey, you are saying there would be legal recourse if the village board did not approve the pre-development agreement? And did the board also have to take the next step to ask Racine County to review the company's proposal to rezone? why go through the steps if you have not already sided with this company?
Connie December 06, 2012 at 02:49 AM
Why not use the land north of Jellystone Park on Hwy .38 that is a huge area vacant north across the river ? Seems like a very suitable location , it may be in Oak Creek , not sure .. just saying..
Christine Ballewske December 06, 2012 at 03:20 AM
I happen to KNOW that there were an awful lot of people at last nights meeting, and the other meetings that have taken place, were also attended by people that not only care about Caledonia, but also do NOT live in the immediate area of the proposed site. So Mr. Dey maybe you should not assume that the only people that give a damn are the people that are directly affected!!!
Brian Dey December 06, 2012 at 05:00 AM
Shiela and Christine- Let me preface this by stating that I am a long time resident and business owner in Caledonia. I also have gone on record that the location being proposed didn't make sense. I'm not sure whether a Walmart in Caledonia is a good idea or not. But I will say that the vast majority of speakers lived in relative proximity to the proposed location by the addresses they publicly gave. Nothing wrong with that. But that is the public record. As for the legal recourse, according to the president and the attorney representing Caledonia, the answer is yes. What I heard was they could not have a predisposition for legal reasons and that it could further harm any future developers from coming forward.
Caledonia Confused December 06, 2012 at 05:10 AM
Tansandy, thanks for that insight. You probably did not attend the "Station Area" public workshop on March 22, 2006. It was at the Community Center and started at 5:00 or 6:00 PM. A few board members were present.
Tansandy December 06, 2012 at 10:55 AM
I find it kind of hilarious that the very people complaining that they want no development and keep Caledonia they it was, are the very same people that moved out here and infringed on someone else's little piece of serenity. Do as I say, not as I do.
Brian Dey December 06, 2012 at 12:02 PM
I will also go on record that I will not support candidates that solely run on the Walmart issue. One issue candidates bring absolutely no value to the table. There are alot more issues they would have to deal with and I believe the existing board is doing an excellent job. if the crowd that was in the room at the last meeting was an indication of who may be running, they don't seem very up to speed on the process for which they choose to run against and I fear that should they win, they would put the whole of Caledonia at risk.
Tansandy December 06, 2012 at 02:55 PM
patchreader 123 I'm glad that you do not dispute any of the things I wrote about. Your only objection me personally. You have no clue as to the amount of time it takes (that was after working 12-13 hr days) and not seeing you children while they are awake. But that's okay, just rip on my character. So I can see what side of the fence you are coming from, when you can only attack some persons character. Of course that is what happens when you run out of any new thoughts. Have a nice day.
KEEP ON KEEPING ON December 06, 2012 at 03:53 PM
Wait....Transandy, did you read what you wrote?? You spent an entire paragraph attacking the character of several people. You called them "head bobbers" for God's sake. You basically took the fence and bashed them with it. And then you turn and say "How dare you?" to someone who may question yours? Okay, so the Land Use Plan needs to be updated and revised. The KRM is not happening. Who does that?? The community or Walmart?? In your eyes, does any of that Plan have meaning and merit? The survey, the subareas, the architectural/open space requirements?? Or did you walk away and say screw it and everyone involved?? One thing is for certain: Walmart does not give a crap about this community. We as residents may disagree on the Plan, how to grow, but WE should be the ones deciding and WE should have a voice with our Board If you read the WM proposal, they did not listen at all to our community concerns.
patchreader 123 December 06, 2012 at 10:32 PM
@ Tansandy: Are you kidding me? You've been insulting other commenters and the Village Board for weeks. Here's "Tansandy's Greatest Hits" against the Board: "Barney, Gomer, Goober and the rest of the board don't have the ..... to stand up to anybody!!" "You see, to be on the Caledonia Village board, you have to go in and get you spine removed." "And yes, the way her and the head bobbers on the board reacted, you would have thought the commuter rail line was already in place." Feel compelled to insult me or other commenters? Fine. Just leave the Board out of it. The Board is under immense pressure in trying to balance a budget, ensure the provision of Village services, and in satisfying the sometimes conflicting needs and concerns of its constituents. While I may not agree with all of the Board's decisions, I will NEVER insult them as you do. Grow up.
patchreader 123 December 06, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Here's another one of "Tansandy's Greatest Hits," made just this morning. “Aunt Bea, Goober, and Barney from Caledonia decided that they would save a ton of money (yeah right) and do the consulting of the project on their own.” Unbelievable.
Susan Spring January 23, 2013 at 01:53 PM
This really looks like spot zoning, and a decision that does not mesh with the infrastructure with 2 lane roads on Four Mile Rd and Green Bay Rd. The village will pick up a considerable tab for police services, and the residents on both of these roads will pick up a considerable tab for road costs to support this development. Walmart will change the area. What happens when Wal-Mart closes the store. Will the town have to pay to delomolish it....likely so. There are important considerations here that go beyond the NIMBY argument.

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