Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Great Wall of Menards

Davenport Council: Menards rezoning clears first hurdle -QCTimes

A few interesting quotes from this article:
After the vote, neighbors said they were disappointed but not surprised. Several said they think the deal has been in the works since the city’s comprehensive plan was updated more than a year ago to designate the land along Brady Street for future commercial zoning.
I've been hearing rumblings about Menards on that property for quite a while, so I could easily see this part being true. Personally I think it makes more sense to locate on the southeast corner of that intersection, but I don't think the neighbors have much of a case here either. I don't see how anyone would move in there with the expectation that a plant nursery will continue to be the use for that busy intersection property for all time.
Since it first proposed the rezoning, the company has agreed to build a 50-foot “green space” barrier between its property and the neighbors in addition to an 8-foot-high earthen berm, a row of trees and a 14-foot fence, all designed to limit noise and create a visual barrier between the store and residences. Rohlfs said his family has offered to plant mature conifer trees from the nursery along the berm.
Hey, can we get a minefield and some coils of razor wire thrown in as well? I find that this is pretty funny in relation to yesterday's conversation of the previous post about connecting retail and residential. Now, I know you're probably not going to walk to Menards and walk back carrying 10 sheets of plywood and an air compressor or something, but I guess the Muscatine store does have a grocery section. Maybe they'll leave a gate or checkpoint in the 14-foot fence. It just seems a little excessive. Instead of living next to a home improvement store, it'll be more like living next to a prison.
The concerned neighbors got some legal advice from Meyer. He recommended that they continue to do their homework and make note of city staff errors in case they decide to challenge the pending rezoning in court.
“We do a lot of things wrong in the city, especially from a legal standpoint,” he said.
When Meyer asked interim corporate counsel Tom Warner if he could give the neighbors advice, Warner told Meyer it is typically not city policy to assist potential litigants looking to sue the city.
This one pretty much speaks for itself. Is it January yet?


freda said...

The berm and trees are to appease the neighborhood. The fence is the same type of fence Menards builds around all its outdoor storage yards to prevent inventory from disappearing in the night. It's a fine line that cities walk in evaluating the interests of the community at large vs. the interests of a few. Forcing landlords to take responsibility for buildings they abandon as a condition of rezoning is wise, but what's the penalty for failure to comply? Once the rezoning is granted, and the new store is open, what motivation does Menards have to keep up its former location (other than it looks better on the market)?

Anonymous said...

Take your camera and go out and walk the property. Thanks

Anonymous said...


Which property? Why?

Anonymous said...

QCI - I think what Keith is saying is that perhaps you shoudl put you photo edge to good use and get a visual for us all. Plus - what the hell other property would we be talking about here? Oh - I don't know - say - the Menards property. Unless of course you were talking about the skatepark.

Anonymous said...

There is the current Menards site and there is the new Menards site.

Again, which site and why?

Maybe Keith could go walk the site and take a picture to post and explain the relevance of the photo.

Anonymous said...

Menards new site and rezoning makes sense given the comprehensive development plan and the majority of the existing surrounding commercial property. The small pocket residential neighborhood has seen the changes and most likely knew further development was inevitable. Knowing change was coming certainly could not make it any easier to find that the time had come. Menards plans to build the green space, berm and to provide fencing, along with Alta Vista's offer to plant trees, shows good faith efforts at being a good neighbor.

The existing store's reuse poses a major challenge. The surrounding commercial area next to the existing Menards site may help to attract development. It seems unlikely that a single tenant/owner will find the building suitable. Can it be renovated into a multiple tenant building? Is there enough value in the land to demolish the building and sell of parcels? Is there a developer willing to try? Is the city ready to help?

With Keith Meyer's obstructionist, negative thinking, angry ways removed from the council floor, there may be a willingness for the city to work with Menards for reuse.

Anonymous said...

I just got a camera this week, have been to the nursery site and need to go back after I get the riff of how to take and post pictures of the historical work building and the hundreds of trees.

7:17 don't you identify yourself.

Anonymous said...

Conservative Demo here:
Here we go again, people wanting Davenport to stand up and begin offering "incentives" to private (and I'm sure I'll get corrected if wrong, Menards _IS_ very single-owner private, not even stock holder kind of private) business.

Doggone it guys, a damn business ought to be paying its own way from its day-one and that includes paying up front for their utilities connections and necessary street/road improvements. If a business wants to be a business the owner needs to pay the costs and not be dipping into the tax-till to cover himself.

As for the old building, make the new zoning contingent upon the Menards owner paying _UP FRONT AND IN-FULL_ a cash bond large enough to cover any possible future city costs of demolishment just in case it ever comes to that. If Menards sells it or later actually demolishes it then give em back the bond.

Anybody remember the burned building on 3rd St that we the people had to demolish?

When a profit motive is involved, no man's word can be trusted.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Keith can go jump in a lake. What a complete a**hole!

Anonymous said...


Knowing who I am doesn't change who you are.

Anonymous said...

By the way, I am not 8:29 AM. However, there are many who share the view of 8:29.

Keith, you need to understand that your views simply are not shared by others.

Anonymous said...

Conservative Demo here:
Ald. Meyer, there was a time that I stood up on these local blogs defending your right to be heard and to be treated with dignity, but no more.

I still would wish that you were treated with dignity but your own actions seem to be making that impossible. You've learned that these bloggers are good teasing material and it seems as if you just can't give that up now. I thought you were smarter than they, and maybe you are - just maybe.

But Ald. Meyer, you are not wise: A wise man would know when to quietly leave the spotlight.

I now conclude Sir, that you are your own worst enemy and I, in the future will be more careful about which politicians I will be willing to stand up for.

Anonymous said...

Menards is a chain of home improvement stores. I found out that your blog concerns the company. I did not have a chance to personally deal with the products and the services of Menards, but I did read a lot about it. The reviews are more negative, than positive. Consumers are not happy with the quality of goods and maintenance services. Check out for more information.