Meijer plan approved

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Planning commission previously tabled discussion for 30 days

By Gina Clear

A proposed development plan for a Meijer supercenter on Ring Road cleared the Elizabethtown Planning Commission on Tuesday by a unanimous vote.


The commission previously tabled the plan for 30 days because an easement to the vacant property on the east was not planned, but the proposed plan presented Tuesday rectifies what some on the planning commission saw as an issue.

The connection ultimately could link Meijer at 2340 Ring Road near Heartland Elementary School with Ky. 251 when adjacent property is developed.

The vacant property is zoned Commercial-3, which could allow businesses with a considerable night life that may have more alcohol than food sales. Cris Jones, real estate manager for the Michigan-based, family-owned Meijer objected to these “noxious” uses, but was told by Planning Director Ed Poppe the city could not guarantee a business Meijer finds incompatible would locate there. Poppe said only an agreement with the property owner could limit the use of the property.

Jones said company representatives were able to work out an agreement with the property owner Tim Aulbach and now are able to move forward with their plans to locate in Elizabethtown.

“It came about from a collaboration between us and the property owner to the east and we were able to work through the access easement,” Jones said. He said the agreement would allow theaters and family bowling centers, but would limit adult-oriented businesses. Poppe told the commission the agreement will prevent problems seen on U.S. 31W where many properties are not connected and it fits in the city’s comprehensive plan to promote interconnectivity.

Poppe recommended the commission conditionally approve the plan, as long as grading and storm water plans are approved and Skylar Drive, a central access point to the property, is vacated potentially to allow for two lights to be situated Evergreen Trail and Nelson Drive.

Other objections made by the planning staff were rectified including spacing of the company’s landscape beds and fencing around the garden center. To remedy the problem, the company will install cart corrals to break up the parking lot that will prevent large trucks from parking across spaces, which will require a waiver, City Planner Kevin Strader told the commission.

As proposed, the store would encompass 190,000-square feet and employ 250 to 300 full- and part-time workers.

Meijer, which just opened its most southern store in Bowling Green and is planning another Kentucky store in Owensboro, also intends to build a gas station on a nearby parcel of land. The store provides groceries and general merchandise.

“We’re very much looking forward to coming to Elizabethtown,” Jones said.

Gina Clear can be reached at 270-505-1746 or gclear@thenewsenterprise.com.