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Tue, Oct. 15

Wal-Mart property rezoning requires six votes of the City Council to proceed<BR>

A request to rezone land off Stockton Hill Road for a Wal-Mart superstore will require a super majority vote of the Kingman City Council.

The vote requirement is the result of

a protest filed by the adjacent Smith's Food and Drug.

City zoning regulations require at least six "yes" votes from the seven-member elected council that includes the mayor, vice mayor and five council members.

The super majority is 75 percent of votes cast and the 6-1 vote requirement assumes all seven are present and voting.

Jeffrey A.

Goldberg of the Kingman law firm of Bruno, Brooks and Goldberg filed the protest on behalf of Smith's.

"The Smith's property is immediately adjacent to and on the west side of the property proposed to be rezoned in the rezoning case.

Pursuant to Arizona revised Statutes 9-462.04H and Kingman Zoning Ordinance 31.500, Smith's hereby protests the rezoning case and demands compliance with the provisions of the Arizona Statute and Kingman Ordinance, which requires the approval of three –fourths of the members of the City Council for the proposed rezoning to become effective," Goldberg wrote in correspondence with the city.

The protest was hand delivered and filed with City Clerk Charlene Ware and the Kingman Planning and Zoning Department July 2.

By city staff calculations, Smith's is adjacent to the 11.5-acres proposed for rezoning for a distance of 150 feet across Glen Street at the rear of the store property.

The area of Smith's property is more than 20 percent of the area adjacent that would be rezoned, qualifying for the protest.

Wal-Mart representatives are working with city staff on proposals to answer questions the Kingman Planning and Zoning commissioners asked about traffic impact.

The Commission voted 5-0 to deny the rezoning request.

Two members were absent when the vote was taken.

The Kingman City Council voted 7-0 at its Monday meeting to postpone consideration of the rezoning until Wal-Mart asks that it be put back on the agenda.

Wal-Mart representatives had asked for the postponement.

No date was set for the rezoning to come before the City Council at a public hearing but the earliest consideration could be the Aug.

4 meeting.

Wal-Mart is buying the land for the supercenter from Mohave County.

Some area residents have voiced concerns that the store would add traffic to and already-congested area of Stockton Hill Road.

Other concerns have come from grocery store employees who fear the supercenter grocery would drain customers.

The sale of the Mohave County property includes an extended closing date to give Wal-Mart time to rezone that land, Mohave County Supervisor Pete Byers said.

"We have a $70,000 non-refundable earnest deposit," Byers said.

"Any commercial property sale would allow the buyer time to do due diligence and rezoning is often part of a sale for commercial property."

City Manager Roger Swenson said the city would ask the county officials to extend the closing as necessary to allow the rezoning process to be resolved by the city without undue time pressures.

The county parcel is 11.5-acres of the 23-acre parcel that would comprise the site of the 200,000 square-foot super store.

The current Wal-Mart is about 100,000 square feet.

The site is between Stockton Hill Road and the Mohave Wash north of the current store and south of Airway Avenue.

Traffic congestion on Stockton Hill Road and access to the Kingman Regional Medical Center were the major concerns of the Planning and Zoning Commission when it voted to recommend denial of the rezoning request.

The City Council has the final say.

Mayor Les Byram said Wal-Mart came to Kingman in the 1990s after local citizens gathered 7,000 signatures asking Wal-Mart to build a store in Kingman.

"Wal-Mart officials had decided to not build in Kingman," he said.

"After the residents gathered and presented the signatures, the company officials changed their minds."

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