March 9, 2016
Alder Amanda Hall
6925 Littlemore Drive
Madison, WI 53718
Dear Alder Hall,
On February 11, 2016 residents of the Rolling Meadows neighborhood attended a regularly scheduled Rolling Meadows Neighborhood Association meeting to discuss the proposed Kwik Trip convenience store at 4602 Cottage Grove Road. The intent of the meeting was to give Rolling Meadows residents an opportunity to voice their opinions about this proposal.
Several members of the Board took notes; the statements below are a composite of these notes. The tone of the meeting was very civil and involved many questions. No alders, City of Madison staff, or Kwik Trip representatives were present, just the area residents. At the conclusion of the open forum the residents in attendance voted in favor of the Board compiling a letter detailing the opinions expressed, which was to be shared with all East Side alders (copied below).
Those who spoke in favor of the Kwik Trip proposal made the following points:
- The currently vacant former Sentry property is an eyesore and may be beyond structural rehabilitation.
- Multiple residents expressed their belief that Kwik Trip is a "clean" and "responsible" business and would be a welcomed addition to that corner.
- The Sentry lot has been vacant for 18 months and there is a business interested in developing it, so why delay any longer? This development is on the table instead of theoretical.
- The Kwik Trip location would act as an anchor for the Rolling Meadows Shopping Center.
- A Kwik Trip convenience store will bring good paying jobs to the area.
- The addition of a Kwik Trip, or any development for that matter, would force improvements of the parking and pavement at the Rolling Meadows Shopping Center.
- The convenience store component of the business would be beneficial and fill a some of the food retail role missing since the closure of Sentry. People could walk to groceries or “grab & go” items. However, concern was expressed by some voicing this support, requesting noting their expectation that the Kwik Trip have ample dedicated parking near the building for customers not purchasing gas, as crossing traffic headed to the gas pumps is a safety concern.
- Many generally supported the proposal but wish to see better traffic patterns, no alcohol sales, a reduced number of gas pumps/islands, and/or pedestrian access from sidewalks on Cottage Grove Rd. and/or Acewood Blvd.
Those who spoke in opposition to the Kwik Trip proposal made the following points:
- The proposal, an automobile-centric business, contradicts current zoning and future land use (i.e., mixed-used, pedestrian-friendly design).
- There is concern about the scale of the project in terms of number of gas pumps, 24 hour traffic, and noise. A 24/7 commercial business generating significant traffic and noise is a poor fit for a largely residential neighborhood. Residents specifically cited the Kwik Trip convenience store on Farwell Street in McFarland as an example of poor fit with the surrounding community.
- The area represents a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for redevelopment and to get it right as many other redevelopment areas have. Union Corners, Grandview Commons, and Royster Clark all mentioned as redevelopments that required patience and a prolonged process. Residents observed Rolling Meadows is situated directly between Grandview Commons and Royster Clark and development here should be treated equally, with patient, careful consideration.
- Rolling Meadows residents do not want to be the afterthought as our East Side neighbors and other consumers transit the Cottage Grove Road between Royster Clark and Grandview Commons. Rolling Meadows should not have to “settle” for a Kwik Trip.
- What happens to the surrounding businesses? Kwik Trip likely forces others out of business, and could potentially jeopardize the attractiveness of the Rolling Meadows Shopping Center for other businesses that may be desirable to residents.
- A gas station was not mentioned once as a preferred development or business at the site during a prior survey of Rolling Meadows residents. Instead, many respondents preferred a mix of retail, restaurants, and other amenities.
- There are legitimate concerns about the increased traffic and safety of users of the adjacent Rolling Meadows Shopping Center, especially MSCR.
- Residents discussed the possibility of Kwik Trip applying for a liquor license, the history of other nearby businesses seeking similar licenses, and the proximity of a business with a liquor license to MSCR.
- Residents voiced concerns that Kwik Trip is a business and not interested in stimulating development of other businesses the community. Revitalization of the Rolling Meadows Shopping Center is not assured by the addition of a Kwik Trip convenience store.
- Residents expressed specific concern about the effect a potential Kwik Trip convenience store at Cottage Grove Dr & Acewood Blvd would have on the PDQ convenience store on Milwaukee Street. PDQ is a 100% employee-owned business in which based in Middleton.
- The East Side neighborhoods need to proactively coordinate visions of development so developers understand the desires of neighborhood residents for their communities. Alders play a prominent role in initiating, supporting, and guiding these conversations.
- Residents want to push for a development that makes life interesting and provides a destination for people to stop, walk to, or congregate.
We ask that these comments by Rolling Meadows residents be taken into consideration as you deliberate on whether or not to grant the necessary permits necessary for Kwik Trip to build at this site in our neighborhood.
The Rolling Meadows Neighborhood Association Board:
William Schuth, President
Matt Ida, Vice President
Jordy Natzke, Treasurer
Lori Johnson, Secretary
Lara Kenny, Member at Large
Merl Maiers, Member at Large
Vern Maiers, Member at Large
Jerry Smith, Member at Large
Mary Kelly, Member at Large
Jeanne Braun, Member at Large
Alder David Ahrens, District 15
Alder Denise DeMarb, District 16
Alder Ledell Zellers, District 2
Alder Marsha A. Rummel, District 6
Alder Larry Palm, District 12
Alder Samba Baldeh, District 17