Baxter Gander Mountain a Step Closer

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gander Mountain project a step closerPosted: Wednesday, November 17, 2010Are you searching for oppidan? Highlight these search terms in the articleMATT ERICKSON Staff WriterBAXTER - The redevelopment of the Gander Mountain site to include more retail stores and two restaurants took another step forward Tuesday.The Baxter City Council unanimously approved requests from Oppidan Investment Co. for a conditional use permit allowing a planned unit development, a minor subdivision plat and a conditional use permit to allow uses associated with the store proposed to be located at the site as well as six outside events. Council member Todd Holman was absent.The proposed planned unit development at Gander Mountain, the former Walmart site, will include a PETCO and Michaels - a specialty retail store for general crafts, home decor, framing materials, arts and hobbies. Michaels will be located on the north end of the building, where Ashley Furniture used to be, and PETCO will be on the south end. Gander Mountain will be in between.Two restaurants, an Olive Garden and an IHOP, are proposed in the parking lot next to Edgewood Drive.Bill Deblon, Baxter Community Development director, said a final site plan hasn't been prepared. Jay Moore of Oppidan said there were many aspects to the project and Tuesday's action were more clean-up items than anything else."We think this is a viable project for you," Moore said. "It will be a nice addition to Baxter.""We're happy to have you," Mayor Darrel Olson said.The council also approved vacating Fernwood Drive behind the Gander Mountain site. The road doesn't extend north or south beyond the site.In other action, the council:Heard from Rep. John Ward, DFL-Brainerd, who attended the meeting for questions and concerns before heading back to the Legislature in St. Paul. Olson said one of the issues the city will need to address in the next few years is an extension of the sales tax, which both Baxter and Brainerd are using to pay for the $30 million wastewater treatment plant expansion."Our people were wise, they voted themselves a sales tax," Olson said. "But those are leverage dollars. I don't know how we'd do it ourselves."Council member Jim Klein said he didn't want the sales tax to become county-wide."We want to control our own destiny," Klein said.Approved a conditional use permit for Thor and Kerri Wicklund to allow outside display, sales and repair of any items intended or primarily intended for off-road use at 7313 Novotny Road.Adjourned to 2 p.m. Wednesday for a ground breaking at Essentia Health's new clinic on Isle Drive; to 6 p.m. Wednesday for a capital project improvement financing and right-of-way acquisition meeting; to 6 p.m. Thursday for the Distinguished Service Awards Banquet; to 6 p.m. Tuesday for a capital project improvement financing and right-of-way acquisition meeting; and to 6:15 p.m. on Dec. 6 for a public informational meeting for the proposed 2011 budget and levy.MATT ERICKSON may be reached at or 855-5857.

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