Robbinsdale City Council approves revisions to Hy-Vee lot, pushing closer to finalization

Landscaping plans and modifications to onsite convenience store are among the amendments

By Laci Gagliano
Sun Post Newspapers

The Robbinsdale City Council approved landscaping plans for the new Hy-Vee store lot, as an amendment to a previous platting approval, plus a revision to the on-site convenience store plans at the April 4 council meeting.

The initial conditional use permit was approved in August 2016, which laid plans for features like store displays, the convenience store with fuel pumps, and parking. In November, the final plat approval was granted, which officially transferred land ownership of the Terrace Mall for the redevelopment. The revisions to these 2016 milestones include a landscaping proposal and a modification to the layout of the convenience store, both of which required new council approval.

Community development coordinator Rick Pearson explained to the council that changes were made to the convenience store, including a minor alteration to the drive-through pharmacy window and having the store face due east rather than southeast.

Pearson pointed out that the rearrangement of the site’s layout will provide better visibility for a future liquor store as well as better traffic flow in the drive-through area. The gas pumping station will also be redesigned from the original plans with two additional pumps, consolidating driveway space and enabling more direct access to the store and the drive-through coffee shop window.

The landscaping plans include a variety of trees, shrubs, and perennials that will line the site’s outer edges and be planted in the small islands located throughout the parking lot. The property lining France Avenue will feature emerald lustre maples for shade as well as varieties of pine and fir.

The edge of the building in that location beneath the evergreen canopy will host a hedge of serviceberry, a flowering variety of shrub. This point on the building will contain a parapet wall of more than a foot and a half, plus a 6-foot security barrier above it, utilizing natural earth sheltering from the trees and hedges.

“Earth sheltering has some real advantages,” Pearson said. “Instead of having a huge retaining wall, a gap, then a building, the rear wall of the building becomes, in effect, a retaining wall.”

He said the retaining walls have been reduced in the plans because of the presence and support of the bordering landscaping.

A variety of shade trees will also line the north portion of the property along 36th Avenue and Bottineau Boulevard, and the entrance on 36th Avenue will be bordered by evergreens. Small islands, which are used to separate various portions of the parking lot, will be planted with white birch and perennials.

“The specs require that the landscaping thrive for two years. Of course, with the conditional use permit standards, if there’s a lot of die-back from the trees, we’ll call Hy-Vee and say, ‘you have to replace some of your landscaping because you have a conditional use permit and you’d be out of compliance,” Pearson said.

Pearson said advice from a forestry expert is also available to Hy-Vee with alternate species recommendations in the event the proposed trees are unsuccessful. An irrigation plan is in place to ensure the landscaping does thrive, he added.

Final agreements required for the property include stipulating responsibilities with Hennepin County for the store’s entrance along County Road 81 and a draft of the finalized map of construction.

Pearson said planners would return to the council to approve any additional major changes rising in the plans as a final master construction plan is developed.

Contact Laci Gagliano at [email protected]