Walmart

The Glen Carbon zoning board approves the expansion of Walmart’s online shopping district

Glen Carbon’s Zoning Board of Appeals has approved a request from Walmart to add something to its site in Cottonwood Plaza.

The retail giant requested a waiver to reduce the number of parking spaces at its facility, located at 400 Junction Drive, as it seeks to expand the building’s footprint by 2,880 square feet.

Walmart officials said this expansion area would not be open to the general public. The new area will serve as a dedicated staging area for the company’s online grocery delivery program. The program was inspired by how the pandemic changed shoppers’ shopping habits, with fewer people shopping in person and more shoppers shopping online, and having items delivered later.

Store employees said separating the new area from the rest of the store will allow employees to collect and store orders near a new, dedicated online order collection door at the entrance closer to Cottonwood Road.

Project engineer Rick Rolfing and project manager Craig Winkleman of BFA, Inc., who attended Wednesday’s meeting on behalf of Walmart, said the expansion will not affect the building’s existing use, nor will it generate more traffic on site or nearby. .

The expansion will increase the number of online grocery pick-up locations from the current 12 to 45, covering a wide swath from the main path in front of the building to the west. Each of these spaces will be 12 feet wide versus the typical 9.5′ width, so it means fewer total spaces in the same area as the narrower slots.

Stacy Jose, the village’s buildings and zoning manager, was absent from the meeting, which the six board members presided over in her absence. In a November 10 memo, she reported that originally on January 6, 2007, a development exemption for 849 parking spaces (of 5.5 spaces per 1,000 square feet) had been granted by the same board (albeit likely with different members). feet of floor space to 4.37).

Walmart applied for expansion nearly six years after the store opened, but the number of stalls was deemed to be in line with the code passed at the time. The current number of parking spaces is 620.

Jose had a request in her memo that caused confusion among board members.

“As the car park is technically considered a non-compliant site under current regulations, and it is unclear when the reduction from the originally approved 849 spaces to the current 620 took place, I would like a record of this request and/or approval , so there is no confusion in the future about the number of places on the site,” she said.

The confusion stemmed from the numbers the board was supposed to reduce; there were at least three sets in the information that came in that evening. Some numbers made more sense than others. After pondering, the board decided to call Jose for confirmation.

The petitioners also admitted that they were unsure whether they needed an exemption from this plan. They said they didn’t want to risk coming back to the board at a later date.

Jose confirmed that the board was on the right track; the deviation concerns a reduction of 12 parking spaces.

“It is not feasible to comply with the current parking code as a total of 738 stalls would be required (723 regular and 15 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) parking spaces),” she wrote in her memo. “Therefore, we will be requesting a waiver to reduce the number of parking spaces from the current number of 620 to 608. No ADA stalls will be removed or reduced in number as part of this project.”

By email Thursday, Jose confirmed that the board’s approval allows for the expansion construction.

Separately on Wednesday, the board approved two other requests: one for a new fence at the 600 block of Briarstone Drive and a sign waiver for Magnolia Commons. Both passed unanimously.

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