LIVINGSTON–Members of the Zoning Board of Appeals heard a presentation and viewed plans for the Hannaford supermarket and pharmacy proposed for a site located between Routes 9 and 82 at Bells Pond Tuesday, February 8. The company was denied a building permit by the town Planning Board on January 7 because its plan called for fewer parking spaces than town code requires for a 24,000 square foot store.
The Hannaford Brothers Company seeks a variance to lower the number of required parking places from 160 to 100 because, company officials say, shopping patterns at other stores indicate that the higher number of parking slots called for by local building code is not necessary even on days leading up to July 4, Thanksgiving, Christmas or other peak shopping days.
“Shopping patterns have changed,” said J.M. Lord, Hannaford’s site engineer, who made the presentation.
A smaller parking lot also allows for more trees, and an appearance that is more in keeping with the rural nature of the town, said Mr. Lord. A pared down parking facility also aligns the project more closely with Leadership in Environmental Energy and Design (LEED) guidelines, the certification granted to “green” buildings. The company deems green building good business practice because it helps lower energy costs and impresses customers.
While the town Planning Board is expected to be the lead agency overseeing most details of the project, the ZBA has the responsibility of determining whether an applicant like Hannaford may create fewer parking spaces than the current law prescribes.
A public hearing on the issue was scheduled for March 1 before the next ZBA meeting when, it is expected, since no objections to the plan were voiced at the February 8 session, that the variance will be granted.