In slightly more than two weeks, the Roseville City Council is expected to consider whether to order an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) on a proposed Wal-Mart megastore in Roseville's Twin Lakes area.
The Council's consideration, scheduled for its May 21 meeting, comes after the city last month received a citizens' petition requesting that an EAW be conducted for the proposed Walmart development.
Until it decides if the EAW is needed, the city said it can't take any action on the Wal-Mart's request for a preliminary and final plat approval to build a 160,000 square-foot discount store in Roseville's Twin Lakes area.
The citizens' petition is now posted on the city's Walmart project page. The PDF document is 10.8 MB, so downloading could go slowly, the city said.
Wal-Mart's preliminary plat, final plat, and development agreement will also be on the May 21 City Council agenda. In a news update, the city said the Council may also consider those items if it determines no further environmental review is necessary. The city noted that state law requires communities to act on land use applications "in a timely manner."
The giant Arkansas-based discounter wants to build the store on about a 14-acre parcel of land that is bounded by County Road C, Cleveland Avenue, Twin Lakes Parkway and Prior Avenue. The proposal is also being advanced by owners of the property, Roseville Properties.
The Wal-Mart proposal first came up earlier this year, but has encountered some delays as the retailer and developer endeavored to satisfy conditons on the plat suggested by the Roseville Planning Commission and then the citizens' group petitioned last month for an EAW.
In early February, the Planning Commission voted 5-1 to recommend supporting a preliminary plat for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to build a new big-box store in the city's Twin Lakes area.
At that Planning Commission meeting, some residents contended there hadn't be enough public notice about the proposal and questioned whether Roseville needs more retail development.
More recently, a group of citizens calling themselves SWARN (Solidarty of West Area Roseville Neighbors whose web site is http://swarn.info ) held an informational meeting on the Wal-Mart proposal, seeking to mobilize residents on the issue and spur citizen involvement. A group of 50 to 60 people attended, packing a downstairs meeting room at City Hall.
The Planning Commission's vote to support the Wal-Mart preliminary plat came after city staff recommended approval, stating the preliminary plat falls within Roseville's comprehensive plan and zoning code, including a District 10 master plan for the Twin Lakes area.
However, organizers of SWARN have taken issue with that recommendation.
"The Twin Lakes Master Plan calls for mixed use of the Twin Lakes area, but both the current zoning code and the Twin Lakes Plan allow retail as part of that mixed use," SWARN organizer Gary Grefenberg said recently. "The question remains, however, what type of other mixed uses such as office and condominium development will be attracted to Twin Lakes when the first major development is a Wal-Mart Big Box.
"Will Twin Lakes eventually become an extension of Rosedale, but a cheaper version with even more big boxes and cut-throat retail no matter what the Twin Lakes Plan envisioned?," Grefenberg asked.
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