Wal-Mart lands need rezoning<br>

It could be back to the drawing board for a proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter. The retail company purchased plots of land around the existing store with the intent of erecting a Supercenter. However, a review of the property shows that a portion of the land is currently zoned for residential, not commercial use.

In order for the city to change the zoning district, Wal-Mart must submit an application for a rezone that states their intent for the land.

City Planner Jane Zukowski said the company has not done that. If Wal-Mart does file the application, Zukowski must notify property owners within a 300-foot radius of the proposed rezone area. There would be a public hearing within 15 days of that notice.

Wal-Mart faces yet more red tape. Site plans submitted by the company show construction on land that encompasses three parcels. Those parcels would need to be combined before any building takes place. All rezone and combination requests must be approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission and the City Council.

Wal-Mart could opt to move their designs further down the as-yet-unbuilt Mike’s Pike road. A large area west of the current store is already zoned for commercial use.

The current Winslow store sits on a little more than 8.6 acres, which the company bought in 1988, and is 65,930 square feet. Information on the other two parcels was not available.

Before any building permits are issued, builders must follow the city’s process. The first step any business or individual must undergo before obtaining a building permit is attend ameeting known as a development review.

In the review, the builder must resolve issues brought up by the police and fire departments, the city engineer, the Water/Wastewater Department and the Planning, Zoning, Building Department.

Zukowski said Wal-Mart has scheduled a development review with the city. The various city departments are expected to finish their analysis of the project later this month.

Also on the table is the request by City Council for the P & Z Commission to look into whether a big box ordinance is in the best interest of the community. The commission decided to open the issue up to the residents for input and for Zukowski to find a moderator for a public forum. No date is set for the forum.

A spokesperson for the company could not be reached.

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