A judge on Monday approved a settlement plan that promises to end a three-year legal battle between Wal-Mart and the city involving plans for a new store at Sixth Street and Wakarusa Drive.
Following a brief hearing in District Court on Monday morning, Judge Michael Malone signed an order that halts seven lawsuits filed against the city since 2003 because of its refusal to issue a permit for the store.
In the next six months, Wal-Mart and 6Wak Land Investments, which owns the building site, will submit scaled-back plans for a store that are expected to meet the city's approval. On Oct. 27, the parties will appear back in court to iron out any issues.
"Hopefully they will be few and far between," Malone said Monday.
If all goes smoothly, the lawsuits would then be dismissed.
The last-minute settlement, reached Friday between the city and the developers, averted a trial that had been scheduled to begin Monday in Malone's courtroom.
"We appreciate the court's patience ... as we worked out the final details," R. Scott Beeler, an attorney representing the city, told Malone on Monday.
Under the terms of the settlement, the new Wal-Mart will be no bigger than 99,990 square feet, plus a 6,500-square-feet, open-air garden center. The city previously had rejected plans for a 200,000-square-feet store and a 132,000-square-feet store.
Wal-Mart agrees to pay two-thirds of the cost of a new traffic signal for Sixth Street and Congressional Drive. The total amount of commercial development on the northwest corner where the store will be situated will be capped at 128,000 square feet.
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»