Target Receives City Commission Approval

Tuesday night the Manhattan Cit Commission voted 5-0 to approve a new Target store in West Manhattan. Here is part of a memo telling of the project:


This is the first reading of an ordinance rezoning the proposed Seth Child Commons, located generally northwest of the intersection of Fort Riley Boulevard and Seth Child Road, south of the Southwind Office Park and east of the intersection of Shuss Road and Arbor Drive. The rezoning is from R, Single-Family Residential District and PUD, Planned Unit Development District, to PUD, Commercial Planned Unit Development District. The proposed development is for a Target store and other retail commercial and business and professional offices. The PUD is proposed to allow all permitted and conditional uses of the C-2, Neighborhood Shopping District, as permitted uses in the development. The applicant is Target Corporation.

The site contains approximately 29 acres, consisting of eight (8) lots and nine (9) potential outlots. The total maximum floor area of all buildings together will be limited to 220,000 square feet. The primary access to the development will be from the reconfigured Southwind Road, which will connect to Shuss Road on the north and a private road along the east edge of the PUD that provides public access to the southern portion of the development. Lot 6 will be located off Shuss Road. Shuss Road is currently a dirt and gravel roadway west of existing the Southwind Office PUD that will be improved to Lot 6, when Lot 6 is developed. A traffic calming element is proposed to be added on the improved portion of Shuss Road, near the south end of Lot 6, in order to slow down and discourage through traffic to the south (see Traffic Impact Study).

Phase 1 will consist of Lot 2, for a 125,443 square foot Target store and its associated access, parking and landscaping, and the adjoining Lot 7 to the east, for an 8,000 square foot retail store, or stores. Phase 1 also includes: relocation and reconstruction of a sanitary sewer; vacation, relocation and reconstruction of Southwind Road farther to the west; and vacation of portions of Shuss Road, as well as other utility and street improvements. The applicants are still working with residents in the Johnson Valley area on the possibility of relocating the gravel turn-a-round at the southern end of Shuss Road.

Opening date for the Target store is expected in summer 2003

The proposed Target building is generally 23 feet in height, with a maximum height of 31 feet at the entrance. Both Target and the adjoining retail store to the east, face to the northeast with entrances on the same side of the building. Exterior materials consist of split face concrete masonry on the building’s front fa_ade and smooth face concrete masonry on the sides and rear. The front fa_ade is recessed at several points to help visually breakup the length of the building. There is also a wide landscaped pedestrian area along the front fa_ade (see elevation and site plan drawings).

The site will be graded such that the Target pad site is balanced, meaning that the cut on the west side of the site will be balanced with fill on the east side. A modular retaining wall will be constructed along the west edge of the Target parking and building site. The wall will be a maximum of 11-feet in height and taper to 2-feet in height at the north and south ends, and be approximately 750 feet in length.

The development includes an extensive landscape plan of deciduous and evergreen trees which are dispersed throughout the developed parts of the site (see landscape plan). Natural vegetation including trees along the west side of Shuss Road will be preserved, as well as within the large ravine, except for a small area adjacent to Lot 1 and Lot 2 at the rear of the Target store to accommodate grading for the access road. New trees will be added as replacement for any existing trees that are removed, as depicted on the landscape plan. Underground irrigation will be used to water landscaped areas.

Sidewalks are proposed along Southwind Road and throughout the development to provide for internal pedestrian circulation.

The Target loading area is located on the southeast corner of the building. Other outdoor storage/dumpster areas will be screened with 6-foot sight obscuring screening such as wood fencing or masonry. Natural landscaping along the west side of Shuss Road and within the ravine will be preserved to help provide screening.

The development incorporates a unified signage plan, consisting of ground signs, pylon signs and wall signs (see application documents). Phase 1 ground signs are limestone veneer with internally illuminated individually mounted letters. Other signs are to be provided generally consistent with the sign requirements of the C-2 District and will be reviewed with the Final Development Plan. Pylon signs for other commercial uses are intended to be consistent with the Target pylon sign. Size and height standards may vary. Office buildings will use ground and wall signs.

The site will be lit by 42-foot light poles, generally located within off-street parking areas. Building lighting will be directed towards the activity the light is intended to cover such as entrances and parking and pedestrian areas. All lighting should be downcast and shaded to prevent glare on adjacent properties and streets.

The remainder of the outlots will be developed in future phases and may include, as permitted uses, any of the permitted and conditional uses of the C-2, Neighborhood Shopping District. Lot 6, at the northwest corner of the development, will be restricted to business and professional office uses. Building architecture for the outlots will be based on a materials and design theme, which is intended to be generally consistent with the Target building, except that national chains may have a typical corporate design, which may be allowed, particularly for restaurants or hotels/motels (see application documents).

For review and approval of each future outlot, the building, site, landscaping and signage plans will be submitted as a Final Development Plan, which the Manhattan Urban Area Planning Board will review for consistency with the provisions of the ordinance establishing the PUD, the application documents, the PUD’s design guidelines and the overall intent of the PUD, prior to approval (see Architectural Plans & Guidelines page 15 of application documents).

The existing neighborhood to the northwest and west is characterized by low density single-family and two-family residential uses and Warner Park. Office activities to the north are characterized as professional business and government office uses. The area to the south is state right-of-way (K-18). The existing area to the east and north, along the east side of Seth Child Road, is characterized by commercial development, and a four-lane state right-of-way.

Commercial development dominates the Seth Child Road corridor, extending from the Seth Child Road and Anderson Avenue intersection to the Riley County Law Enforcement Center, which is at the southern end of the Seth Child Road corridor. Between these two points are highway and other commercial developments ranging from auto dealerships, home improvements centers, and other major destination commercial uses, such as a movie theater complex. Immediately east of the site is the Town West Shopping Center, a recently constructed commercial shopping development, and a site for an approved Home Depot, which is under development. South of the Home Depot site is an undeveloped commercial lot, within the Home Depot PUD, an undeveloped commercial tract of land and the Law Enforcement Center.

As with any new development, an increase in traffic, light, and noise can be expected. Residential areas to the west and northwest should not be significantly impacted by the proposed commercial development, due to distance, separation by topographic elevation and natural landscaping and screening, which should all provide sufficient separation from the PUD. Traffic impacts should not adversely impact adjacent neighborhoods to the north and west. Shuss Road is not proposed to be improved, except to a point necessary to serve Lot 6. Traffic calming is proposed south of Lot 6 to discourage through traffic.

The site will drain to the east to Wildcat Creek. On-site improvements include storm drains and inlets, which will drain to three existing RCB’s (Reinforced Concrete Box), that cross under Seth Child Road. The applicant’s consultant has submitted a Preliminary Drainage Study, which was reviewed by the City Engineer (memo attached) for conformance with the City’s Stormwater Management Master Plan. Detention is not required and will not be provided, due to the proximity of the site to Wildcat Creek.

The Public Works Department and the Kansas Department of Transportation had several unresolved concerns about the Traffic Impact Study, prior to the Planning Board’s public hearing. The applicant’s consultant met with KDOT representatives before the hearing and satisfied KDOT’s, as well as the City Engineer’s concerns (see attachments). KDOT indicates that there are several necessary revisions which can be addressed in the design (permit) phase of the project (see KDOT email). After receipt of this information, the City Engineer was in concurrence with the findings of the applicant’s consultant and KDOT (see memo dated July 1, 2002 from Scott Crain, City Engineer).

Comprehensive Plan: The site is designated GC, General Commercial, in the Land Use Element of the Comprehensive Plan. The GC category is described in the Plan as: "General commercial relates mostly to businesses serving the entire community and which are frequently located along major highways." The proposed PUD is located along a major highway, Seth Child Road, and in close proximity to Ft. Riley Boulevard, a major highway. Both highways provide access to the site from the surrounding community.

The Comprehensive Plan discourages strip commercial development and suggests that commercial activities should be grouped in logical centers, since the carrying capacity of the streets serving the sites could be adversely impacted. The site consists of a major tenant and outlots for neighborhood commercial uses, including, hotels and motels. Controlled access to Seth Child Commons is provided from a main entrance off Seth Child Road. Commercial outlots are sited to the north and south of Target, all of which will be accessed from internal public street and travel easement, except for Lot 6, which will be accessed off Shuss Road.

The Comprehensive Plan also encourages the use of site design, to create shopping areas that have a positive impact. The PUD process allows for site design review and other related issues of shopping center character. The applicant has proposed architectural and site design standards, which will provide for a well designed and conceived site.

In general, the Comprehensive Plan does not specifically address "big box" retail uses, which may have a regional draw. The Comprehensive Plan does anticipate commercial centers and suggests a variety of guidelines including function, leading tenant, location, service radius, site area, gross floor area, and number of stores. While the proposed PUD may have a service radius greater than what is typical for Community Centers, the proposed PUD is most consistent with a Community Center versus a Regional Center.

Growth Vision: The Growth Vision is a part of the Land Use Element of the Comprehensive Plan. Under the Community Vision Statements regarding Land Use, it is stated: "Promote cluster development as an option to protect environmentally sensitive areas and provide for common, community open space". The commercial outlots are generally clustered to the north and south of the Target store, while preserving the large ravine at the southern end of the site as open space. The Growth Vision also suggests under Land Use to "Strengthen and promote downtown Manhattan as the City’s primary business, office, governmental, and cultural center. Recognize other retail centers that exist and coordinate development of new centers". The applicable concept is the need to "coordinate development of new centers". The PUD process under the Community Center guidelines accomplishes that purpose.

In addition, under the Economic Development category, the following statements are applicable and apply to the proposed development: "Maintain and promote Manhattan’s role as a regional center for economic, educational, health care, social, and cultural activities"; and, "Provide opportunities for larger scale commercial developments along major corridors, that are designed and scaled to be consistent with the character of the surrounding neighborhoods". The proposed PUD implements these concepts.

Under Natural Environment, the Growth Vision states: "Identify and conserve environmentally sensitive areas including wetlands, key wildlife habitats, steep slopes, and riparian areas." The large ravine in the southern portion of the PUD will be preserved as open space.

The proposed PUD conforms with the Comprehensive Plan. (See attached Staff Report to the Planning Board for the complete analysis of factors regarding the rezoning).