Wal-Mart EAW approved by council

Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

The New Prague City Council approved two items at its Monday meeting concerning a proposed Wal-Mart on the city's west side. One was an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) and the other was setting Monday, Nov. 3, for a public hearing on the annexation of the property where the business would be located.

Ken Ondich, acting planning director, presented a summary of the EAW for the 75 acres that are located south of Highway 19 and west of the current city limits. He noted the site includes 62.9 acres of commercial development and 12.1 acres of residential development.

The Wal-Mart portion includes 34.15 acres and includes the store, parking lot, storm water management, utilities and transportation. The main store for the site is a proposed 151,765-square-foot Wal-Mart Supercenter. There are also four outlots for other possible businesses.

Doug Pint, who owns the property where the business would be located, has a concept plan for the remaining 40.85 acres for commercial development and the residential site.

Ondich noted the engineering firm of Short Elliott Hendrickson, Inc., assisted the city in preparing the EAW, which will be printed in its final form today (Thursday). Copies for public review will be available from Monday, Sept. 22, to Wednesday, Oct. 22, at the New Prague City Hall, the New Prague Public Library and on the city's website. Also, an open house for public opinion on the worksheet will be held on Thursday, Oct. 2.

The EAW has 16 major topics ranging from land use and cover types to wastewater, wetlands, and infrastructure and public services. Ondich pointed out the development would hook up to the city's water system and there are no known sensitive species within the site.

The proposal will require construction of streets, including 11th Avenue SW and First Street SW for the Wal-Mart portion and Ninth Avenue SW for the Pint portion.

While the development is in compliance with local plans, it will require an amendment to the city's Comprehensive Plan to allow land use that is considered community commercial under the city's zoning code to extend more than 500 feet south of Highway 19.

Councilmember Kay Wilcox asked Ondich he if anticipated any opposition to the EAW. He said he did not.

The council unanimously approved the EAW.

Public Hearing

Ondich asked that November 3 be set for the public hearing on the annexation of the property from Lanesburgh Township into the city. It is a meeting night for the council and an ordinance to annex the property could be formally approved at that meeting.

Comment period for Walmart EAW starts Sept. 22

The council approved the date for the hearing 4-1. Councilmember Jim Kratochvil cast the only no vote.

The City of New Prague has announced that an environmental study for a proposed commercial development is now available for review.

The New Prague City Council, in conjunction with Lanesburgh Township, ordered preparation of an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) to assess the potential for environmental impacts of the proposed project. The proposed project includes 62.9 acres of commercial development and 12.1 acres of residential development. The site is divided between a proposed 151,765 square foot Walmart Supercenter with adjacent commercial businesses, and a Doug Pint concept plan proposing additional commercial and residential development.

The EAW comment period, which is prescribed by state law, begins September 22 and will end on October 22. Copies of the EAW are available for inspection at New Prague City Hall, 118 Central Avenue N., as well as at the New Prague Public Library, 400 Main Street E.

Written comments received by the city during the comment period will be considered by the city council in making their decision as to the need for further environmental study. For further information, contact Ken Ondich, Planning Director at 952-758-4401 or kondich@ci.new-prague.mn.us.

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