Originally Posted Online: Jan. 09, 2013, 9:56 pm
Last Updated: Jan. 10, 2013, 10:51 am
Moline planners debate roads, gas station at Sam's Club
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By Dawn Neuses firstname.lastname@example.org
(This story was edited Jan. 10 to correct a misspelled name.)
MOLINE — Several members of the Moline Plan Commission on Wednesday questioned the need for Sam's Club to build additional roads in Valley View Village, where the big-box member's only discount retailer is proposing to build a store.
The commission met to review preliminary site plans submitted by Sam's Club.The retailer also proposes a gas station on a lot west of 65th Street on John Deere Road frontage.
Shawn Christ, Moline's land development manager, said Sam's Club was seeking feedback from commissioners prior to making a formal development application.
Valley View Village is a 92-acre development created by Menard Inc. In 2010, the company proposed a preliminary Planned Unit Development, a blueprint for development of the site. The preliminary PUD was approved by the city showing two roads Sam's Club does not want to build.
One road would run west behind the store to 60th Street. The second road would be a southern extension of 65th Street, which would run between the club and Menards to an apartment complex behind the store.
Tracy Richard, an engineer with Manhard Consulting, which is designing the Sam's Club, said he asked if the roads could be reconsidered.
An outside traffic consultant hired by Sam's Club found the roads unnecessary because most traffic will enter the site from the north. In addition, traffic lights at 60th and 70th streets are timed such that traffic should not back up into the development, he said.
Commissioner Dennis Kelly said he drove around the site and also concluded the roads are not needed.
Commissioner Cindy Wermuth said 65th Street would be extended, but there are no plans to connect it with to the apartments and make it a pass-through.
Commissioner Bill Fitzsimmons said he would like Sam's Club to focus on visual and noise screening behind the store and on pedestrian access in exchange for eliminating the streets.
Commissioners also questioned the location of the gas station, asking if it could be moved and built on land closer to the store, leaving the John Deere frontage available for other commercial development.
Mr. Richard said the retailer would prefer to have the gas station in its parking lot, but the store and the parking lot will take up the entire parcel it has under option to purchase from Menard Inc.
Commissioner Mike Crotty said he believed it was best to keep the gas station away from the store. "It would eliminate some congestion in the parking lot," he said.
Mr. Fitzsimmons said the gas station can produce a high volume of traffic, which may be best served if it were located where it is proposed.
Mr. Richard said he would discuss the location of the gas station with Sam's Club. He said the next steps would include making a formal development application.