Commission to reconsider Minot Walmart project

The Minot Planning Commission will reconsider a proposed Walmart store on 21st Avenue Northwest when it meets Tuesday.

Walmart is proposing a subdivision, annexation and rezoning from agricultural to planned commercial for development of a supercenter east of the U.S. Highway 83 Bypass. The plan differs from an earlier proposal that had located the store closer to the bypass. The planning commission previously reviewed the currently proposed location in March but felt there were too many unresolved issues to approve it without more investigation.

Now Walmart is returning with a plan that it hopes will satisfy city planners. “We appreciate the community’s feedback regarding the proposed new Walmart in Minot. We’ve made several improvements to the plan based on the community’s priorities and we look forward to the Planning Commission’s review,” said Delia Garcia, director of communications for Walmart, Phoenix.

The store has generated neighborhood concerns, particularly related to traffic. The store’s main access would be off 21st Avenue, but there also would be access off an extended Sunset Boulevard that would run along the east side of the property. Also, 19th Avenue Northwest would run along the south, or back side of the property, enabling motorists to access Sunset Boulevard from that avenue.

The site plan includes a berm and trees to serve as a buffer against traffic, light and noise for the neighborhoods to the south.

At the March meeting, neighbors raised concerns about people camping in the Walmart parking lot, aesthetics and traffic. Residents living near the proposed store continue to have concerns.

“The great concern from what I have been hearing is they are afraid the traffic will come up 27th (Street) and they are also concerned about Walmart allowing vehicles to stay there overnight. They are concerned about what it might bring to their neighborhood,” said Amy Moen, Ward 4 council member representing the area.

City staff are recommending traffic signals at 21st Avenue and the bypass and at the Walmart entrance off 21st Avenue. The city also has been seeking land dedication for a future interchange at the bypass and 21st Avenue from the landowner of the property.

The planning commission meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in City Hall. Commissioners will be available at 5:30 p.m. to discuss a draft zoning ordinance with the public. Discussion will continue at a public hearing on the proposed new zoning code as the last item on the council’s meeting agenda.