The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Council will consider rezoning for Walmart Neighborhood Market

  • The Rolla Planning and Zoning Commission at its meeting July 8 declined to recommend the rezoning of 8.04 acres in the McCutchen Acres Plat No. 1 from R-1 (single-family district) zoning to C-3 (highway commercial district) zoning.
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  • The Rolla Planning and Zoning Commission at its meeting July 8 declined to recommend the rezoning of 8.04 acres in the McCutchen Acres Plat No. 1 from R-1 (single-family district) zoning to C-3 (highway commercial district) zoning.
    The council will meet at 6:30 p.m. in the council chambers at city hall. A closed session has been scheduled for 5:30 p.m., according to an amended agenda released Friday morning. The agenda notes the purpose of the closed session is “legal/confidential communications with legal counsel.”
    At the council workshop last week, Mayor Lou Magdits and City Administrator John Butz suggested holding the closed session before the council meeting to discuss the Walmart rezoning request. The council agreed.
    A public hearing will be held on the request during the regular session. The agenda notes the rezoning ordinance is up for first reading.
    Walmart wants to rezone the property on Forum Drive northeast of the 18th Street/Forum Drive roundabout to build a Neighborhood Market, which is a supermarket with a scaled-down assortment of general merchandise, as described to the Daily News by a Walmart corporate official after the planning commission vote.
    The Wall Street Journal and financial websites have characterized Walmart’s move to build more Neighborhood Markets and fewer Supercenters as a way for Walmart to target the customers being served by locally owned supermarkets, as well as Dollar General, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree stores.
    Walmart’s rezoning request was submitted just weeks after the council began talking with developers about renovating the aging Forum Plaza shopping center using a public/private partnership that would include a community improvement district (a taxing district) and a tax abatement arrangement.
    The Forum Plaza redevelopment plan will undergo a preliminary review and discussion.
    While that arrangement continues to be investigated, while an official with the Town & Country Supermarkets/Country Mart company has warned both the council and the planning and zoning commission that not only would a Neighborhood Market at Forum Drive and 18th Street harm the Country Mart plans to expand, but it would likely also lead to the Forum Plaza “going dark.”
    Country Mart seeks to expand from its current approximately 30,000 square feet to some 45,000-47,000 square feet, slighty larger than the 41,000-square-foot Neighborhood Market sought by Walmart.
    Walmart officials at the hearing held during the planning and zoning commission meeting stressed they would not ask for any public/private partnership arrangement.
    Such an arrangement is not new to Rolla; a similar long-term plan was used to assist the Kohl’s corporation in building its retail store here.Public/private partnerships have been used in Rolla in various forms for at least a couple of decades to promote economic development.
    Page 2 of 2 - Also on the agenda is an ordinance approving the replatting of Lot A, McCutchen Acres No. 1, for the Walmart Neighborhood Market up for first reading. This is a separate from the rezoning request.
    In other business or discussion:
    • The council will hear first reading of an ordinance to rezone property at 1800 and 1831 White Columns Drive from R-1 (single family district ) to R-3 (multi-family district) zoning.
    • There will be a special presentations on the Celebration of Nations, scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 27, given by Richie Myers, of the Missouri S&T International Affairs Office. In addition, the council will consider a motion to close streets during the Celebration of Nations parade.
    • The new Your Community Health Center will be the subject of a presentation by Amy Beechner-McCarthy, CEO of that center.
    • First reading will be heard on an ordinance approving the resubdivision of a fractional part of Lot 9, Ozark Terrace Subdivision.
    • First reading will also be heard on an ordinance approving the replatting of Lots 24 and 25, Meadowbrook Subdivision.
    • An ordinance vacating Bland Street (Ridgeview Road) lying between Block 9 and 21 of Cowan’s Addition and the 12-foot wide alley in Block 9, Cowan’s addition is up for first reading. This property will go to Ridgeview Christian Church.
    • An ordinance approving Country Hills Subdivision, Lots 1 and 2, is up for first reading.
    • First reading will be heard on an ordinance establishing sewer and water use rates at the Rolla National Airport.
    • There will be motions authorizing bids for three asphalt overlay projects. An ordinance authorizing the mayor to enter into an agreement with Rolla Asphalt for these three projects will be heard.
    • A motion authorizing a purchase of a cargo van after Oct. 1 and the purchase of a portable push camera system will be considered.
    • Also to be considered is a motion approving a road salt price quote for fiscal year 2014-2015.
    • Appointments of Robin K. Bunch to the Rolla Board of Adjustment, Nick Barrack to the Board of Public Works and Ron Robertson to the Rolla Housing Authority Board will be considered
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