Council to reconsider Grindstone proposal

Changes have been made to alleviate neighbors’ concerns.
Sunday, October 5, 2003 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 12:43 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 7, 2008

As of Monday, Columbia residents might know if they’re getting another Wal-Mart.

For the third time in two months, the City Council is set to rule on the 53-acre Grindstone Plaza development that would put a Wal-Mart Supercenter along Grindstone Parkway in south Columbia. Along the way, plans have been adjusted to respond to concerns of council members and neighbors.

This time is no different as council members will consider these changes:

n Parking — The number of parking spaces on the site would be reduced by 176 spaces, which removes about 70,400 square feet of concrete, according to Craig Van Matre, attorney for developer Aspen Acquisitions Inc. However, the new green space created could still be paved if additional parking spaces are needed.

n Lighting — The height of light fixtures would be reduced from 42 feet to 35 feet. Van Matre said the lights would not glare or spill over.

n Green space — A conservation easement would be issued to the city to protect the site’s 2.11-acre plot of park land. Van Matre originally proposed the easement be granted to a neighboring church, he said, but the council preferred it to be in city hands. Additional green space would be added between Grindstone Parkway and the site’s parking lot. Land spacing would be added along Gray Oak Drive to block the back of the Wal-Mart from view.

n Shopping — An area of the Wal-Mart parking lot is outlined that limits seasonal merchandise like lawn furniture and gardening supplies to a specific area. A bus stop has been added near the entrance to the shopping center.

Van Matre said no changes were made to the site’s traffic plans, primarily because the Missouri Department of Transportation would not agree to them. He also said no changes were made to signage on the site.

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