Shoppes seeking options to 7th Street access

       A second neighborhood meeting on the proposed Shoppes at Bear Creek Plaza expansion ended amicably Feb. 4 with the possibility that a second access on Seventh Street may not be needed after all.
       Byron Glenn, representing the Shoppes LLC investors, said his group is contacting City Parks about the idea of letting the Midland Trail become an emergency access between the shopping center (which it goes past) and Chestnut Street, about 500 feet away. The trail at that point has a concrete surface, 12 feet wide.
       Residents of the adjacent West Bluff subdivision expressed concern about increased traffic at the first neighborhood meeting in December, saying that access to the center via Seventh Street would invite drivers to cut through from Colorado Avenue.
       Located northeast of Highway 24 and Eighth Street, Shoppes is currently accessible only through a right-in/right-out at Eighth. A second access is not required but is “highly desired” by the City Fire Department, explained Mike Schultz, the city planner assigned to the Shoppes expansion. The trail goes past the center's southeast corner. “Parks is going to have to look at that and see if the trail could handle the load of a fire truck,” he said.
       The Shoppes request additionally seeks approval to build a second 10,000-square-foot, one-story commercial building, just east of the current one that was renovated last year on the 2.4-acre property.
       The request also sought approval for gas pumps for the 7-Eleven that had moved into the current building a few months ago. But because solving the second-access issue is “taking longer than expected,” Glenn said developers are now making the pumps a separate request. Formally called a “minor amendment” to the property's development plan, the pumps would be allowable within the C-6 zoning, Schultz said, and can be administratively approved by City Planning if no major issues arise in the city review process.
       The meeting ended with the understanding that unless the Seventh Street access is still on the table, a third neighborhood meeting will not be required. “I think you've got some very good ideas,” neighborhood spokesperson Sean Chambers told the Shoppes representatives.

Westside Pioneer article