One of the requirements of an R3 Zoning designation is that the site is “… fairly close proximately to a number of existing commercial areas, employment centers and recreation areas. Depicted to the left here we see the finding of the Zoning Commission confirming the same. Our question to them was “What on earth constitutes ‘fairly close proximity?'” The City Planner’s arbitrary answer was “about a mile.” Well, that’s not the case unless the tenants intend to eat Subway Sandwiches and/or Kwik Trip cuisine all day. We thought it was more in keeping with the spirit of the requirement to look at things like grocery stores – the two closest of which are depicted here.
Walmart – 1.2 Miles
I think that these distances should be though of as being traversed by, say, a parent pushing a stroller and maybe keeping an eye on one other child… and juggling groceries to boot on the return trip. So this is the South Broadway reference, let’s take a look at the Highway 14 East reference:
Cub Foods – 1.4 Miles
Last but not lease, Cub Foods. This one has the added benefit, like Walmart to a lesser degree, of having some pretty broad stretches of no sidewalks – i.e., walking on the shoulder of some very busy roads is required.
I feel that the “close proximity” requirement for R3 Zoning is left unsatisfied, and that the lower income, 0 or 1 car families residents of the proposed apartment complex will be left in a substantial lurch when it comes to walkable, necessary destinations.