GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The Green Bay City Council voted just after midnight to deny the rezoning of a planned unit development for the Larsen Green site.
The 6-5 decision may be the final blow to Walmart's plans for a Supercenter in the Broadway District. The retail giant was proposing a 154,000 square foot store with more than 600 parking spaces.
"There's been a decision tonight and we are disappointed in the decision, and while we are disappointed, it is the community that is missing out," said Walmart spokesperson Delia Garcia, who refused to say one way or the other if this was the end of the line. "We're going to look for opportunities to serve our customers better, and we'll evaluate our options and see how we can do that for our customers."
The votes in favor of denying the PUD change were Brian Danzinger, Mark Steuer, David Nennig, Tim DeWane, Jerry Wiezbiskie and Randy Scannell. Those who supported Walmart's plan were Tom Sladek, Andy Nicholson, Guy Zima, Tom DeWane and Chris Wery.
Mayor Jim Schmitt wasn't surprised by the outcome.
"There was a tremendous amount of debate, and this has been going on for a year, and yeah I'm pleased with the decision," said Schmitt, who felt the plan's supporters lacked passion. "Even with all the people who spoke and those on the council, there was no passion for Walmart. I mean it was like, yeah well there's nothing else."
The overnight decision confirmed the recommendation of Green Bay's planning department, who felt the site in the Broadway District should not be rezoned based on factors like inconsistency with the city's Comprehensive Plan and the Downtown Master Plan. They also raised concerns about zoning code requirements for PUDs' and the proposed physical design and development.
The purchase agreement between Walmart and On Broadway, Inc. continues until August 25th.
However, WTAQ has learned that OBI officials are scheduled to speak with the bank regarding the status of the loan on Wednesday morning. It's possible that the bank could foreclose on the note at that time.