The Minneapolis City Council this week voted unanimously “No Sam”, rejecting a Wal-Mart request for a zoning variance to construct a Sam’s Club on an industrial site in northeast Minneapolis. The Council’s decision mirrors a similar action already made by the city’s Zoning and Planning Commission. Wal-Mart wanted a variance from the city’s zoning rule that retail stores are not allowed on industrial land. According to The Business Journal of Minneapolis/St. Paul, Wal-Mart made the pitch that a Sam’s Club was appropriate for an industrial area, because it is a wholesale operation. Ironically, this kind of logic has been used in the opposite scenario, when citizens have argued that warehouse clubs or home improvement centers were industrial, and shouldn’t be allowed in commercial zones. The area Wal-Mart wanted was 13 acres, and currently has an empty building on it with 180,000 s.f. of space. Wal-Mart would have raized the existing structure to build its own store. The old business in the existing building was called The Bureau of Engraving, but the site won’t be printing any Wal-Mart money in the foreseeable future.
The City Council in this case understands that industrial land will produce better paying jobs for the community if used for industrial purposes, not for more clerks and baggers. For more stories about Sam’s clubs, search this database by the store name.