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New plans for Costco gas pumps closer to plaintiffs?

By JACK WEATHERLY

Costco Wholesale has maintained that it would “move forward” with a plan to build a store in Ridgeland since the state Supreme Court ruled in April that the city ordinance that was crafted to accommodate the project was illegal.

Now the plan has been revealed, though not in detail.

The store would still be built on the 45-acre site on Highland Colony Parkway, but gas pumps, the part of the original plan that particularly nettled opponents, would not be included.

Will the nine residents who sued the city be happy?

Maybe.

But the latest is that the Issaquah, Wash.-based chain aims to build the fueling station nearby, on the other side of the parkway and apparently closer to the plaintiffs who challenged the zoning ordinance.

That’s what Dave Messner, senior vice president for real estate for Costco told the Mississippi Business Journal on Tuesday in a phone interview.

Costco does not have the gas pumps at all of its stores.

The residents in the upscale neighborhoods contended that the big store and its pumps would create a traffic situation that would devalue their property.

The day after the state Supreme Court appeared to block Costco Wholesale from establishing a store in what developer Andrew Mattiace has designated phase three of the Renaissance at Colony Park, an open-air mall, it served notice that it would “move forward” with a plan.

Sheldon Alston, attorney for the plaintiffs, said Tuesday that “we’ll have to wait and see” the plan.

Mattiace said he likewise has not seen the plan being drafted by Costco.

Alan Hart, director of community development for the city, said Tuesday that the plan has not been received. The next meeting of the Architectural Review Board is May 22 at 6 p.m.

On a different tack, the city of Ridgeland asked on May 3 the Supreme Court to reconsider its unanimous ruling against the amended city ordinance that would have allowed a Costco with gas pumps.

James Peden, special counsel to the city on the zoning matter, said that the chances are slim that would happen, but that it is not unprecedented.

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About Jack Weatherly

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