After years of litigation, City Hall and Wal-Mart today announced a settlement that will allow the giant retailer to build a store on the northwest corner of Sixth and Wakarusa streets.
Under the terms of the settlement:
¢ City Hall will rezone the land to allow a maximum of 128,000 square feet of commercial space, down from 154,000 square feet previously approved. The largest building on the site - Wal-Mart's store - will be limited to 99,990 square feet.
¢ Both parties agree "the project will incorporate enhanced design and construction standards such that the physical appearance of the project will be in keeping with the highest levels of aesthetics and design."
¢ Wal-mart will pay two-thirds the cost of a stoplight at Sixth and Congressional streets, at the southwest corner of the site.
¢ 6Wak Land Investments LLC will repay legal fees that City Hall was forced to reimburse after the company, which owns the site, won an early round of litigation in the matter.
In a joint press release with the city, Bill Newsome, a 6Wak partner, said: "We are optimistic about a successful completion of the planning process and will work with the City to achieve that result."
Mayor Mike Amyx added: "We look forward to the consideration of the proposal advanced by the settlement as we seek to ensure the best development at this location which benefits the community."
Litigation began in 2003, after City Hall denied a building permit for a restaurant, which has not been identified, in spring 2003, saying it was too closely linked to the Wal-Mart proposal. Officials maintain Wal-Mart is a department store, which is prohibited under the terms of the site's zoning. Wal-Mart said it was a "variety store" permitted by the rules.
West Lawrence residents have opposed the project, saying it would create too much traffic on roads traveled by their children, and for students commuting to and from nearby Free State High School.
More about Wal-Mart at 6th and Wakarusa
- Joint statment about Wal-Mart lawsuit
- Wal-Mart back, with bigger request (10-28-06)
- Wal-Mart question up for city approval (10-23-06)
- Wal-Mart proposal hits another roadblock (09-01-06)
- Planning Commission split on proposed Wal-Mart (08-31-06)
- City gateway taking shape (08-19-06)
- Wal-Mart reveals design for Sixth Street location (08-15-06)
- More stories in our Wal-Mart on Wakarusa section Â»