Council initiates new Wal-Mart zoning

The Kingman City Council on Monday began a rezoning process meant to allow Wal-Mart build a superstore.

Councilmen Frank McVey and Ray Lyons continued their opposition to the project, and an attorney for a grocery store next to the site called the City Council's action illegal.

The council voted 5-2 to seek its own zoning change for a portion of the superstore site.

Unlike the original rezoning application filed by Wal-Mart, the city's application will not include property along North Glen Street that borders the rear of Smith's Food and Drug on Stockton Hill Road and Airway Avenue.

The grocery store's protest of the original application forced Wal-Mart to get a super majority vote by the City Council for approval to rezone 11.5 acres from open space to commercial.

The council's vote Aug.

4 was only 5-2 in favor.

McVey and Lyons voted against the rezoning then and voted against their colleagues again Monday.

McVey and Lyons have become the targets of a recall petition that was filed with the Kingman City Clerk's office Monday.

During Monday's council meeting, Lyons referred to a claim by Wal-Mart that a group gathered petitions in support of a superstore.

"I want to see the 17,000 signatures gathered.

I am sure many people signed over and over," Lyons said.

He and McVey cited traffic concerns when they voted against the rezoning Aug.

4, but Lyons also said the superstore's grocery business would threaten other grocers and the union jobs at those stores.

City Councilwoman Monica Gates said that only matters pertinent to the rezoning should be - and have been - considered.

"The proposed site fits the Kingman General Plan (for a regional shopping center) and the traffic issues have been resolved," Gates said.

"We have no right to tell Wal-Mart they are not welcome to do business in Kingman."

Wal-Mart would the superstore on about 25 acres north of its current store on Beverly Avenue.

The company has an option to buy three commercially zoned parcels to the west of the 11.5 acres still zoned open space.

Smith's is the only other private property owner bordering the 11.5 acres in the original Wal-Mart rezoning application.

Jeff Goldberg, member of the local law firm that filed the original protest for Smith's, said the City Council's action Monday was a clear violation of a city ordinance requiring a one-year wait for a second rezoning application after its original submission.

"Changing the applicant and gerrymandering the boundary is not legal," Goldberg said.

City Attorney Bob Taylor said a city-initiated zoning proposal pursuant to Sec.

31.00 of the city's zoning ordinances would not be subject to the one-year wait.

The Kingman Planning and Zoning Commission will consider the city's rezoning request and will hold public hearings and make a recommendation to the City Council, as with any other application.

The commission likely will consider the request at its Sept.

9 meeting.

In other action Monday, the council:

• Voted 7-0 to award a $72,000 contract for software that would integrate data for business licenses, building permits and code enforcement.

• Voted 6-1 to approve a voluntary program that would allow water users to donate to a fund for support of those in financial need in the community.

McVey voted against the measure.

A similar program in Glendale collects about $200,000 per year and Kingman would collect an estimated $20,000.

• Voted 7-0 to authorized the mayor to sign an agreement with Mohave County Historical Society to manage Bonelli House and the Route 66 Museum at the Powerhouse Visitors Center.

• Voted 7-0 to direct staff to proceed with an assessment district and engineering for street improvements along Rainbow Drive.