G’town Planning Board nears decision on store’s impact

GERMANTOWN—The Planning Board looks to gauge the environmental impact of the proposed Dollar General store at a special meeting Thursday, April 14 at 7 p.m.

At the meeting, the board is scheduled to continue its review of the Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) for the Primax Properties proposal to build a Dollar General retail store on Route 9G just north of Main Street (County Route 8). The EAF is part of the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) process.

“We’ll be discussing Part II of the EAF and trying to come to a consensus about whether this project will have a significant impact,” Planning Board chairman Stephen Reynolds said Tuesday, April 12.

“We didn’t want to rush into a decision during our March 31 meeting. Several Planning Board members, including me, needed more time to go over the EAF,” he said, and that led to the extra meeting.

Primax has described the project in Part I of the EAF, and now the Planning Board must review that description to see whether the proposal is consistent with the town’s Comprehensive Plan and zoning laws. Mr. Reynolds said he expected the Planning Board, as lead agency in the SEQR process, to decide at Thursday’s meeting whether to give the project a “negative” declaration—meaning it would have no significant impact—or a “positive” declaration—which means that it would have a significant environmental impact.

A negative declaration would allow the project to move forward through the rest of the approval process. But a positive declaration doesn’t necessarily kill the proposal. What a positive does mean is that the applicant must address and be prepared to mitigate specific impacts identified by the board. That can be an expensive and time consuming process.

The Planning Board also holds its regular meeting Thursday, April 28 at 7 p.m. Asked what action the board might take then, Mr. Reynolds said, “That’s too far ahead to know.”

Both meetings take place in Town Hall, 50 Palatine Park Road.

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