CEDAR FALLS — A once-quashed proposal to locate a convenience store at a heavily traveled Cedar Falls intersection may have new life.
The City Council on Monday night voted 5-2 to reconsider an action it took two weeks ago to reject a plan for a proposed Kwik Star near Greenhill Road and South Main Street.
At Mayor Jim Brown’s request, council members then voted unanimously to table any new vote to a future meeting to allow everyone involved time to comment. The next regular council meeting is March 19.
Council members voted 4-3 to reject the Kwik Star plan two weeks ago. At that meeting, they voted to 6-1 approve an adjacent Fareway grocery store.
However, council members Dave Wieland and Rob Green supported reconsideration of the plan Monday. They had opposed the plan two weeks ago.
Wieland said he supported reconsideration “because I’m interested in just what Kwik Star’s willing to do to satisfy some of the neighbors. ... I am willing to listen a little bit and see what’s going on.”
He also recognized the store was a permitted use on the site, as was Fareway.
Green said he voted against both the Kwik Star and Fareway projects two weeks ago due to traffic concerns but changed his mind after going out and studying traffic at the intersection over several hours on different occasions.
“I simply don’t have the same level of concern about traffic at Greenhill and Main that I did leading into that City Council meeting” two weeks ago, Green said. “Sure, I think the Greenhill and Main intersection will be congested, but not the train wreck I was envisioning. ... It’s a really emotional issue for many of the residents, and I appreciate that. ... I was dreading having to bring up the reconsideration, but I know in my heart it’s the right thing to do.”
Brown did not allow public discussion prior to the motion to reconsider. Penny Popp, a resident of the nearby El Dorado Heights residential area, emailed the mayor and council members prior to the council meeting urging them not to reconsider.
“Acting as the voice for the opposition for this project, I have listened to hundreds of voices concerned about noise pollution, light pollution, water and air pollution, property value, traffic concerns, crime and the overall effect of the health, safety and welfare of the neighborhood,” Popp wrote. “Please affirm the collective voice of the citizens by opposing any motion to reconsider the Kwik Star project at this time.”
Council member Daryl Kruse opposed the project two weeks ago and voted against reconsideration Monday.
“I think that it’s quite clear it doesn’t fits the character of the neighborhood,” he said. “Unless Kwik Star dramatically changes their hours they’re going to operate to fit with what businesses and offices are there,” from 24 hours to closing at 9 p.m. for overnight, “then they don’t deserve to be there. It’s pretty cut and dried. But I’ll listen to what they have to say. I have to.”
“There’s no reason to put this in this location,” nearby resident, home builder and developer Craig Fairbanks said. “These people built homes, expensive homes, expecting that that would not be there. Including my own. I’m sure the people in the neighborhood surely get tired of having to come down here and fight.”