When the planning commission in June recommended approval of a special use permit for Walmart to build a gas station and convenience store in front of its Cortez Road store, it came with a condition that the store reconfigure its odd entrance/exit point at Cape Vista Drive.
The planning commission recommended that an updated traffic engineering report be provided to the city council when they heard the proposal on Wednesday.
It didn't happen.
The city council approved a permit without an official stipulation. However, the council directed city engineers to work with Walmart to make sure the store entrance, which also will serve as an entrance to the gas station, be worked out during the final site plan.
"I agree about the reconfiguration," said Vice Mayor Gene Brown. "I know it's not a stipulation, but hope it's well played into this. Traffic now is very confusing the way it's set up and I hope that they do it."
A stipulation would have required Walmart to take the action as a condition for approval. Wednesday's approval does not require the project to come back to city council unless significant changes are made, so it's now up to Walmart to fix, or not fix, the problem intersection.
The exit out of Walmart on Cape Vista Drive features multiple stop signs that stop vehicles to allow incoming traffic to flow, but it rarely works well.
Only two or three vehicles exiting Walmart can get to the light while a line of vehicles are held back far enough from the light that some drivers end up running it trying to get out.
The convenience store will occupy about 3,000 square feet, not including the gas pumps. Walmart recently added a full liquor store on the eastern end of the main store.