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Mayor/Council: On September 19th, you will conduct a public hearing to consider a request from the Kwik Trip Corporation to rezone approximately 6 acres of city owned property adjacent to the new Fire Station #2 on Viola Rd. The purpose of this e-mail message is to convey some information concerning this matter, realizing that you cannot respond prior to the public hearing.
–The City has a proposed purchase agreement from Kwik Trip in the amount of $1,560,000. This is the value as established by an appraisal of the property. In addition to the payment, Kwik Trip is to assume the city’s responsibility to install utilities to the two lots and construct the Wheelock Dr. extension to East Circle Drive. The city has this obligation to install utilities and construct the Wheelock Dr. extension pursuant to an agreement with the property owner to the south. The estimated cost of this work is $1,003,953 and no city money has been appropriated to date for this work. The city’s obligation was to complete the roadway extension by the end of 2016; a request for bids for the work was in process but was delayed due to the possible purchase by Kwik Trip, with Kwik Trip doing the project.
–In my discussions with Hans Zietlow of Kwik Trip, I doubt that Kwik Trip will proceed with the purchase if the request to rezone the property to B-4 is not approved.
–There apparently is a lot of concern about pedestrian safety in this location, with students from Century High coming to a possible Kwik Trip. This safety concern would be in place with the current zoning of B-1 since a Kwik Trip store can be constructed as a B-1 use; a 24 hour operation would require a B-4 zoning.
–The Planning Department is apparently placing a condition on a rezoning to B-4 that requires the completion of “a pedestrian access and circulation study and the development of” a pedestrian improvement plan that includes on and off-site improvements necessary for safe, convenient non-vehicular access to/from the development from surrounding areas and origins”. Mr. Zietlow does not know what would be the elements of such a condition and he is not willing to agree to an open ended condition. I have asked the Planning Department to provide some information on what would be involved in such a condition and how an applicant would know the elements to implement. If the current sale to Kwik Trip is terminated, the City should possibly implement such a study before the property is again offered for sale .
–The Public Works Department has indicated that the reconstruction of Viola Rd is being recommended to move up from 2019 to 2018, at which time a traffic signal would be installed at Wheelock Dr.