WATERLOO — A planned strip mall at Ansborough and Ridgeway avenues survived 11th-hour concerns about sidewalks.
Waterloo City Council members voted 5-2 Monday to approve the final reading of a zoning ordinance for a new five-bay retail center on the southeast corner of the intersection near Short’s Travel.
The plan from Embankment LLC, spearheaded by businessman Dennis Hogan, had cruised through the first two ordinance readings with unanimous council support and little public opposition.
But Councilman Pat Morrissey made a motion before the final vote to table the plan until the developer met with city officials about installing sidewalks. When that effort failed, Councilman Jerome Amos Jr. joined Morrissey in voting against the final zoning approval.
“There’s not sidewalks … on Ansborough or Ridgeway or Dixon Drive,” Morrissey said. “There’s no pedestrian accommodations that are required out there.”
While there are no sidewalks on any of the nearby streets, Morrissey noted pedestrians have created “cow path” trails by walking through the grass.
Morrissey said the project is not going to be “neighborhood friendly” if it is going to “cater to people driving their cars and parking in the parking lot.”
Embankment is hoping to begin construction on the building with an eye to opening before the end of this year. At least one tenant, a national coffee chain, is lined up for the project.
Zoning for the planned 7,513-square-foot retail will not allow a convenience store, car wash or gas station on the land. Conditions proposed by the developer also prevent a bar, grocery store, laundromat, adult business or theater from locating there.
Casey’s General Store proposed building on the site in 2015 but pulled the request after concerns were raised by neighboring property owners and the city’s traffic engineer.
The former First Security State Bank at that location was demolished when Hogan was unable to find another bank interested in taking over the building.