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A proposal to build a new Walmart in Crestwood is set to go over its first legislative hurdle next week.
On Tuesday at 9 a.m., the Oldham County Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing and vote on two items related to the proposed new location on Veterans Memorial Parkway/Ky. 329 Bypass.
The planning commission will decide whether to re-zone the area Walmart is proposing to build on from C-2 and C-3 to C-4, highway service. It will also decide whether to approve the development plan for the new store.
Kevin Thompson, director of public affairs for Walmart, said the company is looking forward to the commission meeting.
“We feel very positive and excited about the plans,” he said. “We’ve had two neighborhood meetings so far and they have went very well. We’ve had group and one-on-one contact with nearby neighborhood associations. Any time we move into a community, we want to be very good neighbors.”
According to the application filed by Walmart to the commission, the property will contain three separate lots on 16.28 acres between Madison Park Place and Kenwood Station Elementary School.
The proposed Walmart Supercenter will be located on lot one, while lots two and three will remain undeveloped initially. Any future development on the second and third lots will have to go to the planning commission for approval.
To accommodate increased traffic flow into the area, a traffic light will be installed at the intersection of the parkway and Madison Park Place, which was suggested by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and was already proposed by Walmart representatives at a community meeting in December.
Additionally, westbound Madison Park Place will be re-striped into three distinct lanes, with a left and right turn lane and a thru traffic route in between turn lanes, the application said.
There will be no change to Kenwood Crossing, the street between the proposed Walmart and the school, because a traffic study by the state showed its traffic will not significantly increase, even when the Walmart opens.
The application states the new Walmart would be 158,583 square feet, which is smaller than the Walmart Super Center in La Grange. It will contain an auto center, outdoor center, a pharmacy with a drive-thru and a market, according to the description of signs to be placed on and around the building. It will also have a 45-foot tall sign to be placed at the outskirts of the lot, close to the parkway.
There will be no direct access to the new store from the highway, the application said.
According to the application, the pharmacy and its drive-thru will be on the side closest to the elementary school. The auto center will be on the opposite side of the building. All loading bays will be in the back of the building and trucks cannot idle while on the property.
At the first community meeting, residents of the Madison Park condos and Arbor Ridge questioned the proposed design of the new store, as well as light pollution.
The application submitted to the planning commission said light pollution will be at a minimum and that surrounding residents would not see negative effects on their property values.
As for the building design, which was submitted as brown block, Thompson said some design changes would be presented at the planning commission meeting.
“We’ve made some improvements that show we listened to the community,” he said, but declined to name those changes specifically. “There are also other changes that are still undergoing discussions. But the building will still be brown in color and we’ve made changes on building materials.”
Thompson said the plans still remain to make it a Walmart Super Center and not a Walmart Marketplace, as some residents asked at a December community meeting.
Another concern was the sale of firearms so close to a school, but public records from a technical review committee meeting noted there are no definitive plans one way or another to sell firearms at the new location.
The application also assumes a 2015 opening for the proposed store.
If the plans are sufficient enough for the Planning and Zoning Commission, they then go to the Crestwood City Council for final approval. The city council meets the second Wednesday of every month.
Even with a few hurdles left in the process, Thompson said Walmart is ready to return to Crestwood after a long absence.
“We’re excited,” Thompson said. “It’s a great county, a great location. We’re pleased with the dialogue we’ve had.”
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