Changes in zoning for a proposed two-level Target at Hilldale Shopping Center were approved Monday night by the city’s Plan Commission and will move on to the City Council.

Under the rezoning, the store, which would be Madison’s third Target, would have its own planned unit development (PUD) site at 4609 University Ave. instead of being included in Hilldale’s site.

Ald. Chris Schmidt, whose 11th District includes the site, said the project’s planning has gone remarkably smoothly. The district’s former alderman, Tim Gruber, called the silence caused by lack of opposition at the meeting "overwhelming."

One concern raised was the proximity of Metro bus stops to the store’s proposed entrance on Hilldale Way.

Jaci Bell, senior development manager for Target, said she was not opposed to eventually moving the nearest stop closer to the store’s entrance, but the store’s busiest times needed to be identified first and compared to Metro’s current schedule.

Traffic changes would include a stoplight at Frey Street and Segoe Road, a four-way stop at the front of the store, raised pedestrian crosswalks at the entrance and at Frey Street and Sawyer Terrace and a new left turn lane from westbound University to Hilldale Way.

For pedestrians, the sidewalk on University Avenue would be moved farther from the street to allow for trees to be planted.

Target’s application to the Urban Design Commission, which approved the store’s plans Feb. 3, seeks to begin construction this spring and open in July 2011, but a spring 2011 opening is possible.

Target announced plans for the store last summer. A new Whole Foods market was originally going to occupy the Hilldale site.

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