By Julia Purdy
PITTSFORD—In a process that began in November 2017, a developer has received Conditional Use Permit No. 17-38 from the Pittsford Zoning Board of Appeals to build a Dollar General store in the north end of the village. The board’s unanimous approval is subject to the developer meeting 15 conditions, including securing and complying with additional town, state and federal permits.
Once town permits are issued, there are two years to complete the project, and the board’s decision may be appealed to the Environmental Court by “an Interested Party,” according to the decision.
Throughout the process, residents had voiced objections to the project that included concern for traffic safety, traffic congestion, incompatibility with the “rural heritage and character,” and mistrust of Dollar General’s assurances.
“A lot of people in town are very disappointed,” resident Ted Gillen told the Mountain Times.
After five public hearings, a site visit, and four deliberative sessions, the ZBA concluded that the finalized application met the key requirements of the Pittsford Zoning Regulations in spite of widespread public testimony in opposition.
The ZBA determined that the project conforms to Article III, allowing retail sales in the Village district; Article IV for frontage, setbacks and other dimensions; and sections of Article V on potential adverse impact to community services, the character of the neighborhood and local traffic, and applicable bylaws.
The decision noted that the “Town regulations do not include architectural standards,” which the opposition used as a rebuttal, and that a commercial concern had occupied the proposed site in the past.
Major conditions include widening of the intersection of Plains Road and Route 7 to accommodate the turning radius of long delivery trucks; a new right-turn lane onto Route 7; concrete sidewalks along both frontages; and a “marked crosswalk with … LED flashing amber lights,” to be installed and maintained by Dollar General, to connect the new sidewalks with the town sidewalk system.
Other Conditions listed store hours, lighting, landscaping, and building materials as presented by the developer.
Approval from VTrans must be secured for the intersection reconfiguration, sidewalks and crosswalk. Signage is a Condition that requires a town permit.
The full decision can be viewed at pittsfordvermont.com, Notices & Vacancies.
To continue with the approval process, the applicant must now notify the Natural Resources Board of the ZBA decision, according to the District No. 1 office. The commissioners will determine the date of hearing, provided the record is complete. The Act 250 project number for the Pittsford Dollar General is No. 1-R003.
Pittsford BTS Retail LLC is a Dollar General project of the Zaremba Group, a shopping center developer based in Lakewood, Ohio.
On Nov. 8, 2017, Trudell Consulting Engineers, acting on behalf of Pittsford BTS LLC, filed an application with the town zoning administrator for conditional use for “a retail building with 35 parking spaces, sidewalks” and other appurtenances. The project was described as “simple retail” with no adverse environmental effects noted. The building was described as having about a 9,000 square foot footprint.
The property contains an unoccupied traditional farmhouse on 2.78 acres at 36-40 Plains Road, owned by Montpelier-based attorney and developer Frank von Turkovich, who has given official permission for the prospective purchaser to apply for permits.
The developer had originally appeared in a public hearing Sept. 27, 2016, before the District No. 1 Environmental Commission of the Natural Resources Board; eight months later the developer withdrew its application, “in order to … prepare a full application under all ten criteria at a future date,” according to a District #1 memo prepared by commission chair John Liccardi.