Meeting hears more about Dollar General plan

GERMANTOWN—About 50 people attended the January 29 Planning Board meeting held in the Kellner Activities Center to accommodate the crowd. The draw was a proposal by Dollar General to build a store on Route 9G just north of the Main Street intersection.

Planning Board chairman Stephen Reynolds announced that the application by Primax Properties of Charlotte, NC, for a two-lot subdivision was “not quite complete,” and that the board “views this as an occasion for gathering information.” There would be no public comment at the meeting, he said, but written questions and comments would be welcome.

Lawrence Marshall, an engineer from Mercurio, Norton, Tarolli and Marshall in Pine Bush, presented a conceptual sketch for the board’s consideration. His firm, he explained, was retained by Primax, the development corporation hired by Dollar General to find sites and construct stores that Dollar General then leases from Primax.

Primax proposes to take one acre at the north end of a six-acre parcel in the town’s Business Development zone. This zone is adjacent Route 9G and “is intended to permit nonpolluting light-industrial, high-tech and office-park uses that generate considerable employment base in the community,” according to the town’s 2011 Zoning and Subdivision Law.

The store plan presented by Mr. Marshall showed a 70 x 130-foot store, a total of 9,100 square feet, which he said was a standard, desired size for Dollar General.

The plan showed 38 parking spaces, 26 alongside the store and 12 in the rear. Dollar General requires only 30 spaces, said Mr. Marshal; the town’s zoning law led to the larger number. The Dollar General in the Kingston suburb of Lake Katrine has 36 spaces, the Kingston store has 34. he said. If the board would allow fewer parking spaces, Primax could add more green space and landscaping. “We’re always looking to reduce the amount of impervious space on a site,” said Mr. Marshall.

As of January 15, 2015, Dollar General had 11,500 stores in 40 U.S. States, according to online sources. As the crow flies, the Saugerties Dollar General is the closest to Germantown, 6.7 miles away. Lake Katrine is 11.1 miles away, and both require crossing the Hudson River. The Dollar General on Fairview Avenue in Greenport is 10 miles north.

Many of the questions from Mr. Reynolds, board attorney Tal Rappleyea and town engineer Fred Mastriani of Greenman Pedersen concerned traffic and access. A single drive off Route 9G would enter the property and would be 30 feet wide to accommodate delivery vehicles.

Deliveries were “typically made midday, off peak,” said Mr. Marshall. Peak is late afternoon, 5 to 7 p.m., when people returning home from work stop at the store. The store could expect one Dollar General delivery truck per week—“you might get to two or three in holiday season,” said Mr. Marshall. In addition, soft drinks would be delivered and items from local distributors, such as Freihofer’s. There would be no deliveries at night, he said.

Proposed lighting would be on the building itself to light the parking area. Signs and perimeter lighting go off one hour after the store closes. After that there are security lights only around the building.

A new well would be dug and the store would plan to connect to the municipal sewer. There would not be a high usage of water, said Mr. Marshall, about 35 to 50 gallons daily, with two restrooms and a water fountain.

Mr. Rappleyea referred Mr. Marshall to the Scenic Viewshed Overlay District in the town’s zoning law, which is intended to protect the town’s views of the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains. “We want to mitigate and minimize any impact to the viewshed,” he said; “the height of the building, for example.”

The building is proposed at 18 feet in front, down to 12 feet at the rear. When Mr. Mastriani asked if the height could be lowered, Mr. Marshal said, “I don’t believe so, but I can check.”

Mr. Rappleyea referred Mr. Marshall to pages 49 to 60 of the town’s zoning law, which can be found in its entirety on the town’s website, germantownny.org. He asked Mr. Marshall to return with “photo simulations” of the proposed store and landscaping. “From there stems everything else,” he said.

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