Menards in Cambridge is planning an expansion.
During the Cambridge City Council meeting Dec. 19, the council approved several resolutions relating to Menards’ proposal to build a new 19,540-square-foot warehouse behind its existing warehouse. The council added to the motion that trees be replaced if damaged, signage for truck traffic be improved and the fence surrounding the property cannot be any closer than 100 feet to the residences in the area.
Council Member Joe Morin cited a conflict of interest and removed himself from his council seat during the discussion and vote.
Community Development Director Marcia Westover explained in order for Menards to do its expansion, the stormwater pond to the south of its building needs to be reconfigured and moved. Menards has also recently purchased land in the Parkwood on the Lakes Third Addition. The plan is to use part of this land for the pond to make up for the stormwater runoff volume that the business is filling with the expansion of the warehouse.
Westover explained the repositioning of the pond does not encompass all of the land recently purchased. The remainder will be left as a townhome lot as originally proposed in the planned unit development of Parkwood on the Lakes.
Westover explained all of the land must be combined into one lot for the expansion project. A preliminary and final plat have been presented combining all of the land into one lot for the Menards property and an outlot for the pond. The one remaining townhome parcel not needed for the pond was left as a separate lot for future development. As part of the preliminary and final plat process, some existing easements need to be vacated and new easements put in place with the new plat.
Council Member Kerston Barfknecht-Conley voiced concerns for the residents who live in the area.
“I understand it’s around 100 feet between the Menards property line and the townhomes,” Barfknecht-Conley said. “This is too close to the residents’ townhomes.”
Westover said it’s about 110 feet between the Menards property line and the townhomes. She said during the Planning Commission meeting, neighbors did voice concerns with the close proximity and the trucks in the area.
Tyler Edwards, real estate representative from Menards, said the view itself will not change, and a 14-foot fence will surround the entire lumber yard. He said trucks aren’t visible from outside the property.
Edwards explained Menards’ stores all across the country are expanding and remodeling to keep them consistent with the times, having more space for indoor storage, having space for internet sales pickup, etc. He explained the Cambridge store is 15 years old and needs a second drive-through warehouse aisle, almost identical to what is already there.
Mayor Marlys Palmer said she has heard concerns with semitrucks missing their turn in the front of the store and then having to back up and turn around in residential streets and neighborhoods.
Edwards said he will work on getting a larger sign placed so truck drivers don’t miss their turn into the store. He also said he will have the proper personnel notify and remind the truck drivers of the correct turning location into the store. He said there won’t be any additional truck traffic due to the expansion.
Howard Lewis thanked
Council Member Howard Lewis was presented with an appreciation certificate for his four years of service on the City Council. Lewis began his term on the council in January 2013 and did not file for re-election.
Lewis said he enjoyed his service on the council.
“This meeting will end my four-year term on the council, and it has been very interesting,” Lewis said. “I would like to thank the citizens of Cambridge. It has been an honor to be chosen to be their voice, and we have done so many good things the past four years. I would also like to commend all City Council members for working so hard for the citizens of Cambridge. Your participation and willingness to do this has been highly regarded.”
Jim Godfrey was elected to Lewis’ seat and will be sworn in at the Jan. 3 City Council meeting.
“I am confident who is replacing me will do a very good job,” Lewis said in regard to Godfrey.
Palmer thanked Lewis for his service.
“Howard, you have certainly represented the city well, and it’s amazing how quickly these four years have gone by,” Palmer said. “The council has learned a lot from you, and for the most part, we have enjoyed working with you. And regarding the ‘for most part,’ we have always agreed we can agree to disagree, and we thank you for your cooperation and listening to the people you represented.”
Lewis will continue to work to make Cambridge succeed.
“Being a citizen might offer me an opportunity to participate in a different way in helping to make the community a better place,” Lewis said.