Meijer seeks final approval from Waukesha Plan Commission

The Waukesha Plan Commission is scheduled to vote on a final site plan for the 192,000-square-foot Meijer supercenter at Sunset Drive and Tenny Avenue on Wednesday, Aug. 13.
Published on: 8/8/2014

Though there was plenty of opposition from neighbors of the proposed Meijer development, the project gained all of the necessary preliminary approvals last summer in the city of Waukesha.

But Meijer officials have been waiting for more than 11 months from the city to give the development, which includes a 192,000-square-foot supercenter and a 2,500-square-foot gas station, its final approval.

That could happen next week with the Plan Commission scheduled to vote on the approval of a final site plan and architectural planned unit development review for the project, located on the southeast corner of Tenny Avenue and E. Sunset Drive.

The Plan Commission meets at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 13, at City Hall, 201 Delafield St. 

City officials have touted the economic impact Meijer could bring to the area, but many neighbors of the site have strongly opposed the proposed development.

The concerns range from increased noise, light pollution, increased traffic and that adding another supercenter will oversaturate the area with too many big-box stores.

Some neighbors were also against the 24-hour aspect of the store, but Meijer officials said that is part of the company's offering.

Since neighbors felt that their voice wasn't being heard, a protest petition was filed with the city before the council voted on rezoning the site to a Business Planned Unit Development.

That meant that three-quarters of the council (or 12 of the 15 members) needed to approve of the rezoning. The council did so last September when they passed the rezoning in a 12-3 vote.

Before that, the city also approved changing the land use for the 31-acre parcel from residential to commercial.

Initially, that change was denied, but after Alderman Andy Reiland requested for the council to revote on the land use change, enough council members voted for the change.

One of the holdups in bringing the Meijer development back before the Plan Commission for final approval has been a related road construction project on Sunset Drive.

The road project, which ultimately gained council approval at a meeting last month, will widen Sunset to four lanes at a cost of $950,000. The money will be included in the 2016 Capital Improvement Project Budget.

If the Meijer development moves forward at the Plan Commission and Common Council levels, that would be good news for those hoping the vacant Kmart site on E. Sunset Drive gets redeveloped soon.

Representatives of that site have said that prospective tenants are dependent on Meijer coming into the city.

Meijer, a food, clothing and home merchandising store, has more than 200 supercenters in Kentucky, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois, and is looking to expand in Wisconsin.

Plans for a Meijer in Sussex are moving forward, with preliminary work underway at the site.

Meijer is also looking at opening stores in Grafton, Greenfield, Oak Creek, Wauwatosa, Kenosha and Janesville over the next couple of years.