Monday, August 07, 2006

Small Town News - Walgreens Pharmacy - The Application

The Planning and Zoning (P&Z) commission held a meeting in Town Hall to hear an special permit application from Turnpike Properties, also commonly known as Walgreens Pharmacy, to construct a pharmacy with a double drive through facility for prescription service, together with required off street parking. The statement of use reads as follows:

The applicant proposes to construct a retail pharmacy containing approximately 10,000 square feet on the first floor and 3,500 square feet on the second floor or mezzanine level. The plans also call for two drive through windows for prescription service only, and parking spaces, some of which will be located in a common parking area to be used jointly with the Town Hall on land to be owned by the town and known as 180 Main Street. The proposal includes access from both Main Street and Elm Street, together with the other improvements as shown on the accompanying site plan. Proposed signage, elevations, a traffic study and engineering designs are also submitted with this application.

These notes are from both the application meeting and the represented application at the public hearing. The project requires a land swap with the town whereby the applicant will receive the subject property and the town will receive 180 Main Street. The applicant will demolish the building at 180 Main Street and construct a parking lot with 49 spaces. Two driveways are proposed on Main Street and one on Elm Street. Forty-four parking spaces are required for the proposed pharmacy; 49 spaces are proposed, including 42 off-site spaces. Subject to DOT approval, 6 spaces may be located on Main Street in front of the pharmacy. Nine spaces are presently located on Main Street in front of Town Hall and 10 spaces in the grocery store parking lot will be dedicated exclusively to Town Hall use. The pharmacy and the Town Hall will share 49 parking spaces.

Click image to enlarge

A registered architect presented the pharmacy design. The architect stated that the use of traditional materials would give the appearance of wooden slats and the addition of a widows walk was intended to be in keeping with local buildings built in the late 1800’s, and yet similar to the design of the shopping center across the street. [Mmmm, lovely. Sorry, couldn’t restrain myself here.]

Click to enlarge

The parking lot was designed so that it would not be a thoroughfare between Main Street and Elm Street. The buffer has been increased between the drive up kiosk and the neighboring properties.

A traffic study was presented that essentially reported that there would be no impact on local traffic. Of course the Cumberland Farms gas station expansion was not taken into account. (Off the record, the traffic engineer said that the Cumberland Farms thing was a complete disaster from a traffic standpoint.) A project site engineer presented plans indicating that drainage would be better than at present and a registered landscape architect happily presented a plan that would return hardy elms to Elm Street.

A statement of Findings was made available to the P&Z as follows:

  1. When approved, the special permit will be in compliance will all zoning regulations
  2. The development will be in harmony with the orderly development of the town
  3. The proposed use will not depreciate adjacent property values and shall be in harmony with the existing character of the neighborhood.
  4. There is adequate access for purpose of fire, police and other emergency protection or equipment.
  5. The streets are adequate to carry all prospective traffic; adequate provision is made to for entering and leaving the subject site; adequate off street parking and loading is provided.
  6. The landscaping will suitably buffer the adjacent properties.
  7. The proposed use had adequate provisions for water and sewage disposal as well as for storm water drainage.

All I could think was, “Geez, it would have been great to have all of this information for Cumberland Farms.” We would have if it was a special permit.

Next… The public speaks out. But what could anyone possibly have to complain about in this rosy picture?


Tony said...

Hmmm...looks like the Walgreen's around here only with siding instead of brick. I think the effort to "quaint"-ify it failed.

Sue said...

You got that right Tony. Stay tuned to hear the public comments that reiterate yours.

Lynette said...

Well there go the independent pharmacists. Bye bye, American dream. Fuck Walgreen's, Wal-Mart, all of them.

Sue said...

That is very true Lynette. Our only pharmacist retired a few years back. Guess I forgot to mention it in the post. Residents have to drive to a nearby town to fill Rx's. Mom and Pop's are a thing of the past. Sigh. I miss our old pharmacist.

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