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JANESVILLE

Hy-Vee’s plans to build a new grocery and restaurant with a drive-thru pharmacy and an online grocery outbuilding off Humes Road and North Lexington Drive are headed to the Janesville City Council.

When, we don’t quite know.

One city of Janesville planner said the Plan Commission’s 5-0 recommendation to approve a permit for Hy-Vee’s project at the former Shopko could go in front of the council “real soon.”

City Council President Douglas Marklein, who also is a member of the Plan Commission, agreed that the council would review the recommendation at an upcoming meeting. But he said it won’t happen as early as Monday, which is the final city council meeting slated before the April 5 election.

As council president, Marklein has final authority to approve council agendas, and when city planning director Duane Cherek said the council could handle the recommendation “real soon,” Marklein qualified Cherek’s response by adding: “But not this (coming) Monday.”

The wait might give other business stakeholders along Lexington Drive—namely, the Woodman’s Food Market across the street from the planned Hy-Vee—a chance to digest proposed traffic changes on North Lexington Drive.

Embedded in the zoning recommendation the commission forwarded on Monday are plans to drop in a four-way stop using stop signs at the spot where shoppers would either turn to enter Hy-Vee or Woodman’s.

That proposal came as part of a recommendation from city traffic consultant Michael May after a study of traffic flow near the Woodman’s and former Shopko entrances.

Other terms a conditional-use permit would hinge upon would be a crosswalk near the bus stop along the east side of North Lexington that could be used for pedestrians to more safely reach either Woodman’s or Hy-Vee.

The improvements would come at a cost to the adjacent businesses.

Although he voted in favor Monday of green-lighting the Hy-Vee project through to the council, commissioner Barry Badertscher asked whether the commission should peel away the traffic control changes from its recommendation to give Woodman’s time to digest the changes that would affect its own customers.

Plan Commission members Marklein and Carl Weber both pointed out that Woodman’s would have at least a few weeks to mull over the four-way stop and crosswalk provisions before the council takes up the commission’s recommendation.

As it stands, Hy-Vee already is waiting for the Alcohol License Advisory Committee to give a second look at an amendment to its original liquor license request.

Hy-Vee has already begun demolition of the floor inside the former ShopKo at 2029 Humes Road, but it has not yet gotten approval from the city to launch a full revamp.

Hy-Vee seeks an outdoor patio for customers at a built-in Wahlburgers Burger Restaurant, but the ALAC stalled on deciding on that request earlier this month, after some members said that they hadn’t seen detailed enough plans for the patio.

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