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Meijer's wants to open store in Sussex

Plan Commission to review project this week

Sept. 18, 2012

Village of Sussex - Th village Plan Commission will this week begin considering some key - possibly controversial - issues that could help determine whether an approximately 200,000-square-foot Meijer's super center will go in at the southeast corner of the intersection of Highways K (Lisbon Road) and 164.

The Grand Rapids, Mich.-based company told village officials earlier this month they will seek approvals for a home retail center, agrocery store, pharmacy and outdoor garden center. The store would include a mix of 60 percent grocery and 40 percent home goods and would be open 24 hours a day. The proposal also explores the possibility of a gas station/convenience store element and several future commercial lots along Highway K, according to village officials.

The proposed site is on farmland in the Town of Lisbon, but if developed would be annexed into the village as part of a border agreement between the two communities.

According to its website, the Meijer company operates about 200 supercenters and grocery stores in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky. The company recently announced plans to build three stores in the Milwaukee metro area.

In a memo to Plan Commission members, Village Administrator Jeremy Smith cited several issues that the commission will have to resolve before approving the development. However, he recommended that the commission begin to review the proposal.

"Due to the complexity of the site, multijurisdictional reviews and various items, it is likely that the approval process will take several months and include several public hearings," Smith wrote.

He noted that a petition for detachment from the Town of Lisbon and attachment to the Village of Sussex would have to be granted before any final approvals for the project.

He recommended that the Plan Commission direct the village staff to continue reviewing development plans and site, landscaping and sign plans to be forward to the Village Architectural Review Board for its consideration.

He also recommends the Plan Commission and Village Board begin considering changes to various sections of the village code and land-use plan necessary to complete the proposed development.

The village codes currently limit the size of buildings in conditional use permits to 125,000 square feet. Meijer is proposing a 191,235-square-foot supercenter.

Meijer is also proposing to sell alcohol in the grocery store. The village is one of the few communities in Southeastern Wisconsin to require grocery stores to sell alcohol in a space that is separate from the main grocery store check-out lines, according to Smith.

"A recommendation by the Finance Committee to the Village Board to amend the section regarding display and sales (of alcohol) would be necessary," Smith said in the memo.

Smith said the commission will also have to decide whether such a large retail center at Highways K and 164 is an appropriate use of the land.

"The land-use plan calls for retail usages at this site. It was envisioned at the time of the Highway 164 corridor plan that this site would not attract a larger retailer and most likely would include smaller retail and corporate use," Smith noted.

He added, however, "that the southwest corner of the intersection is "contemplated for a large medical complex and YMCA, so a large retailer at the southeast corner is certainly compatible."

The Plan Commission will begin its deliberation at its 6 p.m. meeting Thursday, Sept. 20.

Efforts to reach Meijer company officials for comments on their proposal were unsuccessful.

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Country Christmas Outdoor Drive-through Lights Display: Nov. 27-30, Dec. 5-31. Country Springs Hotel, 2810 Golf Road, Pewaukee. Wisconsin’s largest drive-through holiday lights event features more than a million holiday lights along a mile-long trail that winds through the woods, Includes animated figures and holiday scenes. Call (262) 970-5398 for details. $15-$25. $15 per carload, $25 limo, mini-coach or large van. www.thecountrychristmas.com

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