Dollar General gets more specific

G’town Planning Board reviews discount store plans

GERMANTOWN—A site visit by the Planning Board and a photo simulation of the store are the next steps in Dollar General’s effort to open a retail store on Route 9G, just north of the Main Street intersection. Those two decisions were made after an hour-long discussion of the proposed building at last week’s Planning Board meeting.

Board chairman Stephen Reynolds noted at the outset that the town’s zoning law allows retail stores in that area, and that Primax Properties, LLC, which is developing the site for Dollar General, has not yet completed an application, so “this is just a conversation,” he said.

The approximately 50 residents who attended did not have the opportunity for comment, though the Planning Board says written comments and questions are “welcome.”

No one from Primax had appeared before the board since January, at which time an engineer from the firm Mercurio Norton Tarolli Marshall (MNTM) presented the plans. But at the June 25 meeting the company was represented by Zachary Peters from MNTM, along with Adam Sellner, project director for Primax Properties, and Jeremy Speich of McNamee, Lochner, Titus & Williams of Albany, who is attorney for the project.

The new site plan, the second to be presented, moves the building slightly on the property. Some board members expressed confusion about exactly where the building would be, which led to the agreement to make a group visit (fewer Planning Board members than required for a quorum) to the site. Mr. Sellner said that he would have the site staked out so that board members could see the outline of the building.

Fred Mastriani, town engineer, asked again for the photo simulation, saying it would give the board “some options.” Mr. Sellner said Primax would be “happy” to do that, but it is expensive and he wanted more board input on the proposed site plan before investing in a photo simulation.

By the end of the meeting, most of the board’s concerns were about how the building would look, not about its location, so Mr. Sellner said Primax would go ahead with a photo simulation.

As for cosmetics, at this time Primax plans an articulated, textured concrete block for the store’s exterior siding, rather than a flat block. The siding is cement fiberboard, explained Mr. Peters, not vinyl, and it lasts longer than wood, with less maintenance. The company had tried to do the exterior in “muted earth tones,” he said, but colors could be adjusted.

Board Chairman Reynolds asked for a color wheel and for clapboard siding, calling for a “farmhouse vernacular.”

Town attorney Tal Rappleyea asked for “another awning and three more windows.”

Mr. Sellner agreed to look into everything, even having the company install sidewalks on the west side of Route 9G so that people could walk to the store.

“It’s not what we have considered,” he said about the sidewalks. They would pass “two or three properties, it’s a long distance and a large expense. I’m used to the city’s adding sidewalk at their dollar. But I can look into it,” he said.

The town just agreed to pay $1.3 million for additional sidewalks in the hamlet.

The formal application before the Planning Board is for a subdivision of a 6-acre property, with Primax taking one acre for Dollar General in what is called Lot 1. When talk turned to the other parcel, Lot 2, and how it might be developed, Mr. Sellner noted that Lot 2 is the part of the acreage that is already developed. “We can look into it,” he said, “but whether it is developed differently is beyond the scope of this site plan.

“We are not creating a nonconforming lot, by doing this subdivision,” he added. “It’s beyond our scope to determine what is going on with the other property.”

Environmental studies on Lot 1 continue, and an archaeological study was scheduled for June 26.

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