The City is continuing the process to assist a new commercial development at a prime commercial location at the intersection of the State Hwy 64 and South Pine Ridge Avenue within the City of Merrill. Park City Credit Union and Walmart, along with developers, are proposing an almost 120,000 sq. ft. Super-Walmart which will be open 24 hours per day. Park City Credit Union plans on building in 2013 on the campus-type development setting. There will be appropriate landscaping, screening, and infrastructure improvements within the development site.
The City Plan Commission held the first part of a public hearing on Tuesday, May 1, 2012 to address the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) application submitted by Walmart. That public hearing continues at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 4 in the Merrill Common Council Chambers. A CUP establishes the conditions and requirements that must be met before construction can commence. The City Plan Commission and Common Council must be satisfied that the buildings, infrastructure, and related improvements will serve the City and the development efficiently, safely, and into the future. One purpose of the CUP process is to accommodate future developments adjacent to the site.
The proposed campus development will allow for addressing long-standing safety and traffic issues both at the site and adjacent State Highway 64 areas at the expense of the developers. Infrastructure improvements will include extension of water and sanitary sewer mains and South Pine Ridge Avenue roadway to the south to facilitate potential future development. There will be new sidewalks for pedestrian access, as well as new street lighting installed at the expense of the developers. In addition, there will be improvements to the State Highway 64 and Pine Ridge Avenue intersection. Wisconsin Department of Transportation will also be requiring further analysis and improvements to Highway 64 intersections outside the City of Merrill at the developer’s expense.
The proposed development site extends to the southern boundary of the City of Merrill. Future development to the south would be possible, with City of Merrill involvement, if that property were to be annexed into the City. There is no pending petition for annexation. The planned cul-de-sac on the end of South Pine Ridge Avenue is needed to facilitate City snow removal operations and could be replaced by future street extension if adjacent properties are annexed and have development plans which include for paying for additional infrastructure improvements.