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New Hannafords hits parking bump

Jan 07, 2011 6:21 am
Hannaford Supermarkets' push to put in a new supermarket at the corner of Routes 9 and 82 in the Town of Livingston in Columbia County got hit with a stall this week, Lindsay Suchow of the Register Star reports today, when the town's planning board noted parking problems with the company's proposal at a Planning Board meeting on Wednesday night where Hannaford reps presented their site plan for review. Planners said the site plan was ultimately not accepted because the amount of proposed parking spots was not in conformance with town code, but the board found most of the details of the project to be satisfactory and Hannaford will appear before the Zoning Board of Appeals in pursuit of a variance next month.

Civil engineer William Hoffman of South Portland, Maine-based firm Deluca-Hoffman said the proposed market will be about 25,000 square feet — about half the size of the Hannaford markets in Red Hook and Kinderhook, Planning Board Chairman Lawrence Hermance noted — with the front of the store facing north. There will be customer entrances from both Route 9 and Route 82, while tractor trailers would enter from Route 82 behind the store, Hoffman said. A drive-thru pharmacy will be situated on the side of the store, in addition to pharmacy access inside. During a peak shift, the store would employ around 23 people.

Hoffman explained that the site plan dictates the merging of two different lots, each owned by Adam and Blake Becker. Once the Becker lots are merged into one 3.23-acre lot, Hoffman said, Hannaford will subdivide a triangular .3-acre parcel to the neighboring Happy Clown ice cream stand.

Planning Board Attorney J. Theodore Hilscher was quick to point out that merging lots does not come before the planning board but requires working with the assessors office. Town Assessor Kenneth Leggett was present at the meeting and said the merging of the lots was “no complicated process.”

Hoffman said the building will be constructed in adherence to the Leadership in Environmental Energy and Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System established by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Several months were spent studying the site, Hoffman said, including infiltration testing (since the roof of the building will be designed to reintroduce storm water back into the ground) and “geotechnical” testing, which involves surveying the soil and rock of the area.

Hoffman found the area to have “good, competent soil.”

An underground cistern will hold 60,000 gallons of water for fire fighting, Hoffman said, and while under 1,500 gallons of septic output is expected, the septic tank will be designed for a “peak day,” or a 2,400-gallon output.

Hoffman indicated that three 1,000-gallon propane tanks would be fenced in on four sides with two gates in an area behind the store.

Planning board member James McFarland and two residents who attended the meeting all expressed concern over the decision not to bury the propane tanks, and encouraged Hoffman to think about doing so.

Hoffman said while he has experienced problems in the past with burying propane tanks, with the earth and ground around the tanks “freezing up,” he would consider putting the tanks underground.

Hoffman said under the town’s zoning ordinance, the supermarket would need to have 165 parking spaces, which he said was “unnecessary.”

“With a grocery store, parking demand is fairly level,” said Hoffman, adding that the project would bank LEED points “if we don’t overbuild the parking.”

Since trimming the amount of parking would require a zoning variance, the board ultimately did not accept the site plan in order to enable Hoffman and Hannaford project manager J. Lord (who was also at the meeting) to appear before the ZBA; a denial letter from Planning Board Secretary Eileen Yandik would be required in order for Hannaford to appeal, she explained.

Lord and Hoffman will appear before the ZBA at its next regularly scheduled meeting at 7 p.m. Feb. 1, and then will likely return to the planning board to seek approval at the following month’s meeting (7 p.m. March 2). If all goes as planned, Hoffman said, construction will begin in the springtime and will take about 10 months to complete.

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