Plan commission recommends approval of Wal-Mart expansion

St. Charles, IL

The St. Charles Plan Commission moved to approve expanding Wal-Mart into a super store by a unanimous 7-0 vote.

The store is looking to add a 29,000-square-foot expansion to turn the Wal-Mart at 150 Smith Road into a "super store" with a new grocery department and added parking. The expansion will include a grocery section. The store is purchasing 2.3 acres along North Avenue, which will bring the total site to 19.4 acres.

Plan Commission officials have criticized the store's current parking plan, calling it "a safety issue" at past meetings, but Community Development Department Director Rita Tungare said Wal-Mart and the city have been working to develop and approve a plan that works for both parties.

Tungare said the lot will not have an elongated island at the entrance to stop traffic from cutting through the lot, new stop signs added, more landscaping on the east side of the lot, a reconfigured intersection on the northeast corner near McDonald's and an island on the southeast side removed.

"The site plan that is in front of you provides optimum site design," Tungare said. "From the staff's perspective, there is no outstanding concerns."

Plan Commissioner Tim Kessler said he was "thrilled" to hear that the St. Charles Police, Fire Department and development staff had been working to make the lot more of  the plan commission's vision.

"I think that's very well done," Kessler said.

The vote initially was scheduled to be held in early October, but Wal-Mart officials requested more time to revise plans.

The plan will next be heard by the City Council's Planning and Development Committee before going in for a full council vote.

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