Tuesday, Mar. 05 2013 3:42PM
Price Chopper, Wal-Mart back to vote
By Russ Pulley
Two controversial projects are scheduled for final votes by the City Council at its meeting this week: a new Price Chopper and rezoning for a Wal-Mart Supercenter.
The rezoning ordinance for Wal-Mart’s project in south Lee’s Summit is on the agenda again, following two lengthy meetings where council members heard arguments about traffic congestion.
Feb. 28 the council voted 6-2 to draft the ordinance to rezone property needed for the Supercenter. Council members Brian Whitley and Kathy Hofmann voted against the plan.
The City Council also will vote on a development agreement covering specific road improvements which will be part of the preliminary development plan for the Wal-Mart store, but that hasn’t been scheduled.
If the city and Wal-Mart can’t agree, the rezoning stays in place, but no building permits would be issued until a “mutually” satisfactory development agreement is filed with the county, said Director of Community Development Bob McKay.
“So if the agreement does not get approved and recorded nothing further can happen,” McKay said in an email. “If nothing happens for two years the (preliminary development plan) is invalid and must be re-filed, but the zoning remains.”
At the meeting the city also will hold a public hearing on a Community Improvement District for the proposed Price Chopper at the northwest corner of Todd George Parkway and U.S. 50. It would add a half-cent to sales tax collected there, collecting $1.22 million to help the developer pay for storm-water detention and other costs.
The council is to vote on a community improvement district and an amendment to the tax-increment financing district, which together would give Price Chopper up to $5 million in subsidies to help improve the site for the store. The TIF also would capture additional taxes to be used for improving the intersection with U.S. 50 and building an interchange at Blackwell Road.
The proposed Wal-Mart rezoning has conditions attached to it, which include a development agreement regarding road improvements handling traffic. That agreement will require another vote by the council once the agreement is negotiated between city staff and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. The conditions listed do not specifically include a north-south road Wal-Mart has under consideration as an alternative route to the Supercenter aside from Market Street.