Grocery Wars: Fight to Expand Simon David Moves Into City Council Chambers on Monday
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We first told you about Randall's plans to expand Simon David on Inwood Road back in August, shortly before the grocer took its case to the City Plan Commission. Randall's says the 25,225 square foot store, which has been perched on the property since 1984, is just too small -- needs to be, oh, 42,203 square feet now. And, well, that'll mean realigning Robin Road between Wateka Drive and University Boulevard and demolishing a few houses to make room. To which 12 City Plan Commissioners said, No way, much to the delight of longtime residents of the neighborhood absolutely opposed to its further encroachment on the area.
Outgoing plan commissioner Neil Emmons says the CPC denied the motion because it was willing to make other compromises to allow for the Simon David expansion, such as reducing the width of sidewalks behind the property and allowing Randall's to eliminate three rows of parking. But so far, Randall's refuses to budge.
"No way or no how will they discuss it," he says. "But the site's worthless to them without a grocery store. The neighborhood people are still reeling from what was demolished to make room for the original store in 1961, and they came out solidly against it. The only ones for it were folks in neighborhoods that aren't adjacent, like Greenway Parks. It was not a tough call for the plan commission. Cases like this shouldn't get off the ground. It forces the citizens to fight each other and duke it out."
Which is precisely what's on the schedule for Monday: The city council's meeting addendum has just been posted, and added to the agenda is a public hearing concerning Randall's application to super-size Simon David.
Update: The item has been pushed off next week's agenda. The council will now hear from the public the second week in December.