Blaine Wal-Mart hopes to move across the road

  • Article by: SHANNON PRATHER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 12, 2013 - 4:19 PM

The big-box retailer is exploring plans to open a superstore 2,000 feet from its existing store. Critics say it will destroy a neighborhood.

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wispereve87Mar. 13, 1310:10 AM

As a homeowner who presently lives in the area being discussed, I would like to point out a few misguided perceptions about the city council, staff involvement, and the Wal-Mart store. The city council and staff, work for the citizens of Blaine and not the property owners who happen to have bought up land on the 35W corridor, in hopes of making a mighty buck later on. It is my perception that this city council, with the help of some of its members placed too much authority with Blaine staff. The same goes for city staff who hold such contempt for citizens they are responsible for and are answerable too. Power breeds contempt, and arrogance. Transparence is not there and the excuse that the council and staff are bound under the guise of secrecy by state laws, and the knowledge that some city council members are not paying chooser attention to their jobs on the council or reading emails, but are working full-time at their regular jobs and out of the county for weeks on end. What does it matter to them that Wal-Mart will still be built on Ball Road. The city council and staff do not live in the southeast of Blaine. We can talk and plead until our faces turn blue and the city council will still go through with its plans, even though the Wal-Mart store will be within 150 feet of residential property and the city ordinance specifies that no commercial building should be less than 350 feet from any residence. I wish there were people in this state that would take a closer look at the Wal-Mart plans in the state and finally say enough to Wal-Mart’s expansion into every nook and cranny as Wal-Mart expands.

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wispereve87Mar. 13, 1310:14 AM

As a homeowner who presently lives in the area being discussed, I would like to point out a few misguided perceptions about the city council, staff involvement, and the Wal-Mart store. The city council and staff, work for the citizens of Blaine and not the property owners who happen to have bought up land on the 35W corridor, in hopes of making a mighty buck later on. It is my perception that this city council, with the help of some of its members placed too much authority with Blaine staff. The same goes for city staff who hold such contempt for citizens they are responsible for and are answerable too. Power breeds contempt, and arrogance. Transparence is not there and the excuse that the council and staff are bound under the guise of secrecy by state laws, and the knowledge that some city council members are not paying chooser attention to their jobs on the council or reading emails, but are working full-time at their regular jobs and out of the county for weeks on end. What does it matter to them that Wal-Mart will still be built on Ball Road. The city council and staff do not live in the southeast of Blaine. We can talk and plead until our faces turn blue and the city council will still go through with its plans, even though the Wal-Mart store will be within 150 feet of residential property and the city ordinance specifies that no commercial building should be less than 350 feet from any residence. I wish there were people in this state that would take a closer look at the Wal-Mart plans in the state and finally say enough to Wal-Mart’s expansion into every nook and cranny as Wal-Mart expands. Linda Larkin

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sbuzz16Mar. 13, 1312:58 PM

If it is built, I'll treat it the same as all other Walmart stores and never step inside it's door. Supporting Cub Foods who employs union workers is where I buy my groceries.

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lavndrblueMar. 13, 13 9:07 PM

Mayor Ryan stated during the City Council meeting last week that the Walmart issue is a 'myth'. Check out the video at the City of Blaine website (if yet available). What is not a 'myth' is that the City Staff and the City Council have known about the proposed Walmart on Ball Road since at least 2009. The property owner has been under contract with Walmart to purchase the property since at least 2009. What has happened to elected officials representing their constituents and doing what is best for their communities? Oh, I know.........extra money in the city coffers speaks way louder than families lives and futures.

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Amy_BrieMar. 14, 13 8:51 AM

Mayor Ryan states “We have an obligation as elected persons to follow zoning, or they will sue.” Yes, you have to follow zoning for commercial use. You do NOT have approve a giant Wal-Mart that will devastate the neighborhoods across the street. Thank you Council Member Hovland for realizing building a Wal-Mart at this location just does NOT make sense for this area of Blaine. I hope other council members will realize the same before it is too late.

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kingfly311Mar. 14, 1310:18 AM

Go the City of Blaine web site, on the right side, find "Live & Streaming." Click there and find "Archived Videos," Click on March 7th then click on the video. On this video you will hear The Mayor use the word "myth" and yet in this article openly acknowledges Walmart...Looks like we got a politician talking out of both sides of his mouth...Shocker! I'm sure all the citizens "trust" him now and count on him making the correct decision for the taxpaying citizens that elected him to do the right things for the community.

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lavndrblueMar. 14, 13 1:03 PM

This is not just about the surrounding neighborhoods. If approved this will affect all taxpayers in Blaine and Anoka County. Walmart has stated in their Traffic Study/Site Plan that they would pay for certain Ball Road and Lexington Ave. road 'improvements', however anything needed past their 2014 completion of the store would be up to the City and County; in other words left up to the taxpayers. This would include repairs, revisions, sidewalks, general upkeep, repair to roads being used other than Lexington and Ball Road for entrance and exiting the store site, ie. North Rd, Lake St., Lever St., Marmon, 107th Ave NE, and Sunset. And if their plan does not accommodate and handle the additional 12,000 vehicles per day entering and exiting the store site, it will be up to the City of Blaine and Anoka county funds (our tax dollars) to fix it. Please, call your City Council Member and Mayor Ryan and tell them that no tax dollars should be used for the Walmart now or in the future!!!

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sah500Mar. 14, 13 1:10 PM

For those of you reading this that may not be familiar with this area, the proposed site for this Super Walmart is off of the Ball Rd. and Lexington intersection. This intersection is already congested. The intersection is also maybe a few hundred feet from the 35W exit. Traffic from 35W will have to cross over multiple lanes to turn left within that few hundred feet. My opinion (and that of other’s) is that this will make the area quite impassable during much of the day. There is only one access point to the proposed site. However, shoppers looking for alternate routes will greatly increase traffic through residential streets like 107th / Marmon, Lever, 103rd, and North Rd. For the most part, there are NO SIDEWALKS on these streets. There is a city park on 107th, 103rd passes behind the high school / elementary school, and North Road passes in front of the high school / elementary school. There are MANY kids of all ages walking on these streets to and from school. An increase of 10 to 12,000 cars a day would be very dangerous for our families. I believe the focus/concern of the City of Blaine should be on the side of the residents in the area, not that of the landowner from Minnetonka, or of Walmart.

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smrtgrowthMar. 14, 13 3:25 PM

We already know members of the Blaine City Council are somewhat bias. During the February 17,, 2011 City Council meeting, Councilmember Clark shut down the community discussion on the Highway 65 Walmart and stated: “…this came down to the issue of property rights and property owners had the right to sell and Wal-Mart had the right to build.” We are also property owners! Do we have rights as well? We also know The Mayor is sympathetic toward the current Ball Rd landowner. During one community meeting, he addressed him as “poor Mr. Harstad” and felt sorry for him because he has had to pay property taxes for all these years. The Blaine City council needs to decide the issues without these prejudices or biases. Is this proposed tenant good for the City of Blaine? Does the greater good of Blaine and it’s residents overrule the rights of a single land owner and a tenant?

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mdcastleMar. 14, 13 7:13 PM

Some people don't seem to understand what the city can and cannot do legally speaking. If a Walmart is allowed by zoning and is not requesting variances, the city *must* approve it, or they will likely get sued, it's as simple as that. It's not about what would be best for the city, or whether Wal-Mart is evil or not or anything else. They city doesn't get to tell the land owner they'd rather have an organic market and fair trade coffee shop. If they city didn't want a Wal-mart there they needed to zone it to exclude big boxes, which would be entirely legal, but it souns like they did not.

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