(This story was edited Jan. 10 to correct a misspelled name.)
MOLINE — Several members of the Moline Plan Commission on Wednesday questioned the need for Sam's Club to build additional roads in Valley View Village, where the big-box member's only discount retailer is proposing to build a store.
The commission met to review preliminary site plans submitted by Sam's Club.The retailer also proposes a gas station on a lot west of 65th Street on John Deere Road frontage.
Shawn Christ, Moline's land development manager, said Sam's Club was seeking feedback from commissioners prior to making a formal development application.
Valley View Village is a 92-acre development created by Menard Inc. In 2010, the company proposed a preliminary Planned Unit Development, a blueprint for development of the site. The preliminary PUD was approved by the city showing two roads Sam's Club does not want to build.
One road would run west behind the store to 60th Street. The second road would be a southern extension of 65th Street, which would run between the club and Menards to an apartment complex behind the store.
Tracy Richard, an engineer with Manhard Consulting, which is designing the Sam's Club, said he asked if the roads could be reconsidered.
An outside traffic consultant hired by Sam's Club found the roads unnecessary because most traffic will enter the site from the north. In addition, traffic lights at 60th and 70th streets are timed such that traffic should not back up into the development, he said.
Commissioner Dennis Kelly said he drove around the site and also concluded the roads are not needed.
Commissioner Cindy Wermuth said 65th Street would be extended, but there are no plans to connect it with to the apartments and make it a pass-through.
Commissioner Bill Fitzsimmons said he would like Sam's Club to focus on visual and noise screening behind the store and on pedestrian access in exchange for eliminating the streets.
Commissioners also questioned the location of the gas station, asking if it could be moved and built on land closer to the store, leaving the John Deere frontage available for other commercial development.
Mr. Richard said the retailer would prefer to have the gas station in its parking lot, but the store and the parking lot will take up the entire parcel it has under option to purchase from Menard Inc.
Commissioner Mike Crotty said he believed it was best to keep the gas station away from the store. "It would eliminate some congestion in the parking lot," he said.
Mr. Fitzsimmons said the gas station can produce a high volume of traffic, which may be best served if it were located where it is proposed.
Mr. Richard said he would discuss the location of the gas station with Sam's Club. He said the next steps would include making a formal development application.
Today is Tuesday, March 11, the 70th day of 2014. There are 295 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: Much damage is being done by hogs that are running at large about town. The marshal will take them up and sell them if their owners do not contain them. 1889 -- 125 years ago: George Newberry, Daniel Strecker, Al Webb and James Dixon returned from a voyage down the Mississippi River as far as Memphis, Tenn., on a flat. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Augustana College was put out of the running for the state collegiate basketball title when defeated by Millikin. The Viking lineup included Sten, Samuelson and Swanbeck, forwards, and Holtgren, Johnson and Berg, guards. 1939 -- 75 years ago: The coronation of Pope Pius XII and preliminary ceremonies were broadcast by WHBF on the Mutual Radio Network. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Reactivation of a portion of the J.I. Case Co, plant in Rock Island as a supplier for component parts for the firm's manufacturing centers at Racine, Wis., or Burlington, Iowa, is under consideration. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Downtown Moline business owners will have a chance to help shape the city's future through a survey being done by the Bi-State Metropolitan Planning Commission.