Last week Lloyd Building Department Director Dave Barton gave his report to the Town Board, saying this past month,” has been busier than ever before.”
Barton said he recently collected $219,376, “because of a big hit in recreation fees we got in January where my department collected $191,000 and $180,000 of that was in rec fees behind the Dollar General.”
In anticipation of questions from the public, Barton said the Dollar General store will be receiving more than the initial “skin” that people presently see on the building.
“There is a whole bunch of stuff that will continue to go on that building. I think the towns people should have a lot more faith in their Planning Board. They did a very nice job of making sure that building is as attractive as possible, while keeping it a viable option for the developer. There is actually stone going along the bottom, it’s siding on the building and full glass windows on the Route 9W and southern sides of the building. The northern side of the building will have treatment because it shares a long line of sight coming from the north. There’s a lot of work yet to be done on that property,” he said.
Barton said the building just to the south of it, where the pizzeria is located, will be refurbished to resemble the look of the Dollar General, making the entire area a contiguous design.
Senior Retirement Community
Barton expects that the recently proposed continuing care retirement community, called the Villages in Highland, just opposite the Hannaford shopping plaza, will be a long time in the review process before the Planning Board. He was asked by Councilman Joe Mazzetti if part of the property is ‘forever green,’ Barton initially responded no, but then added that he had no information on this issue.
“I know maps that suggest that and I know there are people in the locality who have said that on their old maps there is space that shows green space, but there is no legal anchor to make them not ever developable,” he said.
Barton said the corporation that owns the sizable self-storage facility fronting onto Route 9W may also own this proposed project, headed by Florida-based owner Mark Sanderson. Mazzetti said he would like to see a full list of the stockholders in this company, but Barton thought this might be illegal but promised to look into this request. He added that he would invite the principal of the company to address the Town Board to describe in detail what they are planning for the property. He said the Town Board should get a look at this, even though they have “no skin in the game, so to speak, because it falls under the zoning code and the Planning Board has jurisdiction over it, but it’s probably great for you guys to know so you can ask questions of them.” Mazzetti challenged the assumption of no “skin in the game” because the town does own a small strip of property that the developer is proposing as an emergency access out to Mayer Drive. Barton admitted this is true but stressed that it was for emergencies only.
Building Project by Sunoco
Barton touched upon a proposal for two, three story commercial/residential buildings that has recently been suggested for Dr. Vanessa Darmochwal’s former location at 3725 Rte. 9W, opposite the Wingate Health care facility and just north of the Sunoco Gas Station. He said characterizing this proposal as a strip mall, “is probably too small a term for the proposal. We are still in the conceptual stage, but presently they are [a total of] 50 apartments on the second and third stories with commercial downstairs.”
Barton said when he met with the developer eight months ago the original design was “way overbuilt” but the newly reworked iteration is, “actually pretty nice.” The developer is presently working on storm water and elevations issues on the site.
Barton said Auto Zone is considering building a store just to the north near the newest Dunkin Donuts. He explained the town’s site plan requirements and design standards to the developer, who is purchasing the property from the owner of the Dunkin Donuts.
He said Auto Zone appreciates the look of the Dunkin Donuts with its multiple dormers and gabled ends but would probably not be able to do a gabled roof, “but I said there are other ways to articulate the building to make it attractive and the Planning Board would rather vote on that.”