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Walmart Site Plan Approval Slated For Next Week

The Planning Commission is set to discuss and probably approve Walmart's Neighborhood Market site plan, the last hurdle to clear for the new store.

Despite vehement opposition from residents and neighboring businesses, a Mount Pleasant Walmart Neighborhood Market will most likely open in the next year or so.

The Planning Commission is expected to approve the company's site plan at its Aug. 22 meeting, clearing the way for construction to begin. The store is planned for the old Little Saints day care site just west of the intersection of Highways 20 and 31. This would be the second Walmart in the area; a is on Durand Avenue in Sturtevant.

staffers worked with Walmart representatives on the site plan to make it more attractive and fit within village development requirements.

"We have worked extensively with Walmart to achieve a higher quality design of the site, building and landscaping," said Logan Martin, community development coordinator.

In all, Mount Pleasant Planning is recommending approval as long as Walmart adheres to a list of some 27 site plan improvements.

One of the largest requirements is moving the parking lot off Washington Avenue, and pushing the back of the building closer to the street. Parking will be behind the building, and materials used on the back of the building must closely resemble the facade. Other conditions include:

  • Shopping carts corraled inside the store if not in the cart return areas in the parking lot;
  • Tabletop speed bumps in the parking lot similar to those at the new Pick-n-Save at Highways 11 and 31;
  • Landscaping of various heights and variety to soften the look at the wall that faces Washington Avenue;
  • Dumpsters enclosed and also enhanced with landscaping;
  • A mix of honey locust and autumn blaze maple trees in the parkway on Washington Avenue.

How we got here

Getting to this point has taken about a year. , and met its first hint of . The hearing was required because a small parcel at the corner of the proposed site was still zoned for agriculture instead of commercial.

At the top of residents' concerns was that . The Neighborhood Market would essentially be the fourth grocery store at the intersection of Highway 31 and Washington Avenue, joining , and Gordon Food Service.

"Can anyone here think of anywhere there are four stores on the same corner? You can't because it doesn't exist," said Sentry Owner Greg Schilz at the time. "There won't be peace and harmony where we all prosper because this is about competition."

Ultimately, the because it fit with the village's 2030 comprehensive land use plan. Still, showing that a Walmart would not negatively impact the grocers in the immediate area.

But in October 2011, that defended Walmart's plan and put the onus for survival on the surrounding businesses. that showed a Neighborhood Market in such close proximity to their stores could prove fatal.

In the end, though, there was little .

"One of the reasons you can't deny the proposed use is that the property is already zoned for this particular use," said Village Attorney Tim Pruit last May. "The second strike is that it’s consistent with the village's comprehensive plan that designates Highway 20 as a commerical corridor."

The Planning Commission meets at 1 p.m. Aug. 22 at Mount Pleasant Village Hall, 8811 Campus Drive. Call (262) 664-7800.

William McGinttany August 18, 2012 at 07:44 PM
Spinning 20 inch rims? How about some of those large fiberglass animals that used to be at Congo Rver mini golf in Kenosha.
Richard Head August 18, 2012 at 11:12 PM
"In the end, though, there was little Mount Pleasant could do to prevent Walmart from building their Neighborhood Market." "One of the reasons you can't deny the proposed use is that the property is already zoned for this particular use," said Village Attorney Tim Pruit last May. "The second strike is that it’s consistent with the village's comprehensive plan that designates Highway 20 as a commerical corridor." That's all true - and I'm fine with that. If you don't like it - don't shop there. It would have been nicer if they had put it in Racine - but Racine's taxes and are too high and the crime problem too big - no one wants to go into Racine. I'm sure many Racine residents will find it handy.
William McGinttany August 18, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Its too bad the City of Racine can't get it act together with their "enforcement unit" and Mayor to solicit a grocery store for its dwindling population. The Mount Pleasant elected officials should consider a tax surcharge on foodpurchased for nonresidents like the City applies to village residents for municipal water.
William McGinttany August 23, 2012 at 01:48 AM
I heatrd the Village of Mount Pleasant Plan Commssion approved the WalMart today and it makes the Elmwood Park proposal look like an ice shanty? Was anyone at the meeting?
Paul August 23, 2012 at 05:15 AM
@William -- Unfortunately, I was not able to make it, but I doubt if anyone could have made any difference. I have the impression this Mt Pleasant Walmart was a done-deal long ago. When Chris Ruud shows up at a meeting to "shill" for Walmart, you know Walmart has created a significant amount of influence in the area to get their way. In Ruud's -- or now "Cree's" case, Walmart has offered their stores as test sites and, I think, the retail outlets for Cree's lighting products. No doubt, that's really good for Cree. It should translate into jobs. And I'd like to think Cree will pay better than Walmart. But if Sentry and/or The Pig can't hold their market share against Walmart, then we'll lose jobs and have another large, empty building to deal with (you know, like the still empty SAM's building). I wish people would do some research so they could understand what a blight Walmart is on what's left of the "free market." Walmart is not competitive. Their presence typically indicates the end of competition in an area. And whenever we lose another local business, we lose a bit more of our local culture; ie, what makes Racine a unique city. Well, maybe we'll be lucky and that won't happen here.

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