Learn more about Meijer on Oct. 25
Public meeting planned two days after Plan Commission considers issues with the project
Village of Sussex - Meijer company officials have scheduled a public information meeting for afternoon and evening of Thursday, Oct. 25, at the Boneyard Pub & Grille, N64 W23180 Main St., that is intended to provide information and answer questions about the proposed nearly 200,000-square-foot grocery/retail super center proposed on the southeast corner of highways 164 and K (Lisbon Road).
The "open house" style meeting runs from 1 to 4 p.m. and 5:30 to 8 p.m. There will be no formal presentations at the meeting although there will be maps, charts and illustrations with company officials available to provide individuals with information about the project and answer questions in a "one-on-one" format, according to Lynne Broydrick, a spokeswoman for the company.
The purpose of the meeting, according to Broydrick, is "to get out the right message about Meijer Company; who they are, what they are trying to do, where the store will be located and the role they will play in the community."
The Grand Rapids, Mich., based chain of super centers is proposing to build an approximately 193,000-square-foot building about 60 percent of which would be devoted to grocery sales and about 40 percent to retail sale of household goods. There would also be an adjacent gas station and convenience store. All of the businesses would be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Meijer, the 13th largest privately held company in the U.S. according to Forbes Magazine, owns and operates 200 stores in Illinois, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky with nearly half of the stores in Michigan.
In order to approve the project, the Village Board and Plan Commission will likely have to approve aconditional use permit that will address a number of issues including open space, parking, and property line setback regulations. In addition, there will have to be a change in the zoning district and sections of the village code may have to be amended.
The proposed size of the building is about 75,000 square feet larger than the village's existing 125,000-square-foot limit on structures. The company wants to sell liquor in the same space where groceries are sold. Village ordinance presently requires liquor sales at grocery stores to be at a location with check-out lanes separate from grocery sales.
Anonymous online comments about the project have raised questions about why the super center is being located at an intersection within six to seven miles of a Sam's Club, Walmart, Costco, Shopko, Kohl's and a handful of Pick 'n Save and privately owned and operated grocery stores.
However, the project has won unanimous praise from members of the Plan Commission. Village trustees have publically and privately expressed support for it.
Broydrick said Meijer does extensive market research for determining where to locate its stores. According to company officials, Meijer is also proposing super centers in Grafton, Franklin and Wauwatosa.
Broydrick described as "coincidental" the scheduling of the company information meeting two days after a village public hearing at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 23.
"It will be beneficialbecause we can refer anyone with questions at that meeting to our meeting on Thursday," she said.
The village public hearing is on a proposed change in the village ordinance to increase from 125,000 to 250,000 square feet the limit of building constructed and operated with a conditional use permit. Prior to that, an update on the project will be presented to the Plan Commission at its 6:30 p.m. meeting on Oct. 18.
Another public hearing, which has yet to be scheduled, will be held on whether the conditional use permit should be granted.
A third public hearing will be held jointly by the Village Board and Waukesha County Land Use and Planning since the village's and county's land use map will have to be amended if the project isapproved.
As Broydrick pointed out, the public will have several opportunities to speak out on the project.
One group called Green Wisconsin had scheduled a meeting on the project on Oct. 3 but cancelled the meeting before it was held and have not announced a rescheduling of that meeting, or returned a reporter's phone calls and emails for more information.
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