The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Walmart pulls its request—for now

  • Walmart has withdrawn its rezoning request that would have allowed a Neighborhood Market near the roundabout at Forum Drive and 18th Street.
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  • Walmart has withdrawn its rezoning request that would have allowed a Neighborhood Market near the roundabout at Forum Drive and 18th Street.
    But it will be back.
    Mayor Louis Magdits Monday night told the Rolla City Council that the city had received a letter July 30 from Walmart’s consulting engineer asking that its request for rezoning be withdrawn because of the response at public hearings.
    The Planning and Zoning Commission last month voted against recommending the rezoning from R-1, single-family dwelling district, to C-3, highway commercial following a public hearing. At the following council meeting, the company asked the city council to delay further action until Aug. 18 to give the company time to address concerns expressed at the hearing.
    Because the public hearing before the council had already been scheduled, testimony was allowed, but no action was taken on the ordinance.
    City Administrator John Butz said Monday night that the rezoning will be on the agenda Aug. 18, but it will only be on there because it had already been scheduled.
    “I think we need to (recognize the withdrawal of the request) for closure,” he said.
    Walmart’s engineer said in the letter the company will ask for a C-2 rezoning, rather than C-3, along with conditional use permits that will allow the construction of a drive-through pharmacy, installation of gasoline pumps and the inclusion of liquor sales in the 40,000-square-foot-plus store.
    The council also set aside a resubdivision request for the property in McCutchen Acres where Walmart wants to build the store; the engineer asked that the application remain and be delayed but not be withdrawn.
    Walmart’s plans to build a Neighborhood Market in that area was announced shortly after Country Mart began working with the city on a plan to revamp the Forum Plaza shopping center. A Country Mart official, speaking in opposition at the public hearing, said a Walmart store so close to the shopping center would cause the center to “go dark.”
    National financial publications have reported Walmart has targeted the market share of Family Dollar, Dollar General and Dollar Tree stores as well as local supermarkets with its Neighborhood Market division.
    The Neighborhood Market stores are giving the company a better return on investment than are the Walmart Supercenters, according to the national media.
    Last week, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree stores nationally announced a merger.
    Text of letter withdrawing Walmart request
    Here is the text of the July 30 Walmart engineer’s letter to Rolla Community Development Director John Petersen:
    The applicant, Walmart Stores, Inc., does hereby withdraw the above referenced Walmart rezoning application request for a change in zoning from R-1 to C-3.
    Page 2 of 2 - In response to the testimony heard at the Planning and Zoning Commission rezoning public hearing, and the currently continued rezoning public hearing before the city council, Walmart asked its representatives to review the city code for guidance on how best to address land use concerns raised regarding the higher intensity C-3 zoning classification for the subject property.
    The city planning and zoning regulations provide that the Walmart Neighborhood market uses of grocery, drive-thru pharmacy, and fuel sales are permitted uses in the C-2, general commercial, zoning district.
    In addition, the sale of packaged liquor and the convenience store with or without fuel uses, both require conditional use permits in C-2 zoning districts. Walmart and its representatives are currently preparing the following applications to be filed with the city in early August.
    1. Request for rezoning of a fractional part of Lot A, McCutchen Acres Plat No. 1 from R-1 (single family district) zoning to C-2 (general commercial).
    2. Request for a conditional use permit for a convenience store use
    3. Request for conditional use permit for packaged liquor store use.
    The applicant also asks that the existing plat application be continued indefinitely from the city council agenda until such time as the new applications progress through the Planning and Zoning Commission and appear on the city council agenda for consideration.
    Thank you for your assistance in this regard. Please advise me if you need anything further from us to achieve the withdrawal of the rezoning application and the continuance of the plat application as described above.
    Rick Rohlfing-Pe/PLS
    BFA-Project Engineer
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