GERMANTOWN—In December 2015 the Planning Board hired Ted Fink, a certified planner and proprietor of Greenplan, Inc., in Rhinebeck, as advisor on the application of Primax Properties for a Dollar General retail store on Route 9G.
Mr. Fink has now read the application file and given the planners his written comments. These comments will be discussed at a special meeting of the Planning Board Thursday, February 11 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.
The comments will be shared ahead of time with Adam F. Sellner, project director for Primax, so that the application can stay active in February. February 11th is the deadline for Primax to inform the board whether it will appear at the February 25 regular meeting.
At the January 26 Planning Board meeting, the applicant and the board continued to talk about the remaining sticking points without making visible headway. The two main points are sidewalks and the look of the building.
Primax is prepared to put a sidewalk in front of the store, as it would anywhere, but on Route 9G this sidewalk would not connect with any others. Some of the planners want Primax to extend the sidewalk down Route 9G to the corner of County Route 8 / Main Street.
“I’ve done a lot of development,” said Mr. Sellner, who has worked for Primax for over 11 years, “and I’ve never had a municipality ask me to pave another property. It’s not legal.”
As for the aesthetics of the building and whether it fits in with the town, “We’re looking for a building that’s narrower and lower,” said Mr. Reynolds. “Our scenic viewshed is very important.”
When building new, as it now prefers to do, Dollar General wants a building 70 feet wide, Mr. Sellner explained. As for aesthetics, “for our last submission we did our best interpretation of the code and came up with something,” he said. “We got no hard-and-fast feedback. I need suggestions so I can revise. There’s a lot of different stuff on Route 9G.”
“We’re not using 9G as a model,” said Mr. Reynolds. “Someone with an architectural understanding would say that what’s been submitted is nothing like our Main Street.”
“9G is not the hamlet,” said Mr. Sellner. “Outside the hamlet, you have Stewart’s, Sunoco, the Mobile station. How doesn’t our building fit in?”
“Our comprehensive plan was drafted after Stewart’s and Sunoco were already there,” said Mr. Reynolds. “Our long-term plan is that as [those stores] come in to renovate, we ask them to revise their look. We want your building to fit in long-term.”
Planner Joyce Crawford suggested that board members find photos of the kind of building they would like and post them on Pinterest. Mr. Reynolds could give the photos to Mr. Sellner.
Plans for the driveway and storm water runoff are almost complete, reported Lawrence Marshall, engineer for Primax on this project.