With one dissenting vote, the Rolla Planning and Zoning Commission voted to recommend the Rolla City Council rezone part of the Forum Plaza shopping center to allow a potential tenant to sell merchandise outside.

With one dissenting vote, the Rolla Planning and Zoning Commission voted to recommend the Rolla City Council rezone part of the Forum Plaza shopping center to allow a potential tenant to sell merchandise outside.
“We have just one simple request,” Joel Riggs, representing Super Market Developers, of Kansas City, Kansas, owners of the shopping center, told the commission at its public hearing Tuesday night.
That request was to rezone part of the center and its parking lot from C-1, neighborhood business district, and C-2, general retail district, to C-3, highway commercial district, zoning.
Display and selling of merchandise outside in front of a store or in the parking lot is not allowed in C-1 or C-2 zoning, but it is in C-3 zoning, Riggs noted, and a potential tenant wants to use that merchandising capability, similar to the sales methods of such stores as Walmart, Lowe’s and The Family Center.
Riggs assured Commissioner Bill Lindgren Jr., who had fretted earlier in the meeting that the change would allow Super Market Developers to put in a car lot or sell “crappy trailers” on the site.
“We are spending significant dollars to put this in your community,” Riggs said of the revamped shopping center. Work is going on right now on the area where the Country Mart supermarket was previously located.
That space will be taken over by a “high-end outfit” that will complement the other stores in the shopping center, as well as in the community, Riggs said.
The change in zoning to allow outside display of merchandise is needed, he said, because “current zoning doesn’t allow any outside selling.”
Riggs, as well as Community Development Director John Petersen, declined to divulge the name of the potential tenant. In his presentation, Petersen said it was “like a farm and home” store. Riggs said the potential tenant sells lawn mowers and wants to display them outside.
When it came time to vote, Lindgren voted against the recommendation to the council that the rezoning be approved. Commissioners Monte Shields, Steven Shields, Russell Schmidt, Robert Anderson and Janece Martin voted for it.
None of the neighbors spoke against the rezoning during the public hearing.
County Assessor Bill Wiggins told the commission he was neither for nor against the zoning but noted that State Highway BB is not a highway like U.S. Highway 63 where Walmart and Lowe’s are located or State Highway 72, where The Family Center is located.
He urged the commission to use caution in making any zoning changes.