03/08/2017 – PB Minutes
TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
Wednesday March 8, 2017
BETHLEHEM TOWN HALL MEETING ROOM
Present: Chairman Michael Bruno, Vice Chairman David Wiley, Sandy Laleme, Chris McGrath, Marie Stevenson and Johnathan Stevenson
Chairman Bruno opened the hearing at 6:00pm
Mike Bruno read the public notice for Reardon/Baxter lot line adjustment. He then read the checklist for the project. Dave Wiley motioned to accept the checklist as complete. Marie Stevenson seconded. 6-0 motion carries.
Gardner Kellogg explained the project to extend one lot into a buildable lot. The applicant owns both lots. There was no public comment.
Chris McGrath motioned to accept the lot line adjustment. Dave Wiley seconded 6-0 motion carries.
Closed public hearing
Mike Bruno motioned to approve minutes from February 15, 2017 as amended. John Stevenson seconded. 6-0 motion carries.
Opened public hearing at 6:30
Chairman Bruno read the continued Public Hearing from February 15, 2017 for Dollar General SPR.
Austin Turner recapped the project. A retail store that is very much like a Walgreen’s just without the pharmacy. The size of the store will be 7500 square feet. 85x85 feet. It will have 31 parking spaces. Hours of operation are from 8-10, 7 days a week. Delivery will be once a week. All lighting will be in line with the Bethlehem Dark Sky Ordinance. The applicant has had DOT look at the access, and there have been no red flags as yet. The applicant meets dimensional requirements. Mike Bruno asked if the lighting could be amber in color just to be considerate to your neighbor. Austin told him that he would ask the lighting engineer on the project. He was also asked about a fence for the direct neighbor Hearthside Village. Keeping your line of sight in perspective, he would check with DOT for 400 foot line of sight. Sandy asked about the septic issue. Dave Wiley told her that he had spoke with the owner and she assured him as to having the septic pumped out twice a year by Schofield. She also asked if the transaction is complete. It is not going to be complete until the applications are done answered Austin. Sandy would like to see documentation on the septic from the owner.
A phase 1 clean report was done by the applicant to address that the cabins were indeed going into a holding tank. There will be a privacy fence on either side of the property. 4 to 8 feet in height, along with chain link fencing. Sandy Laleme brought up that the look of the building does not fit in with the surrounding area. Austin asked what you would like it to look like. More in line with the look of the cabins and surrounding houses answered Sandy. Dave Wiley suggested that the overhang on the entrance be extended the length of the front of the building.
David Van Houton asked if there was a site visit done. Chris McGrath and Mike Bruno have gone to the site independently. You need to be aware of your surroundings. Marie Stevenson said it all depends on the size of your car and the time of year. This is a condition of DOT before you even get the building permits said Austin. Marie Stevenson wants to know if the applicant is in contact with the Lancaster DOT. Austin told the board they deal with the local DOT with each project. Sandy Laleme talked about the traffic going east and west out of Cherry Valley Road on to 302. Mike Bruno looked at a traffic report from Bohler engineering and noted that the board would like to see an independent study done on the intersection. It is difficult to take a left, and to add the entrance to Dollar General will make the intersection more congested. Dann said the difficulty coming out of Cherry Valley Road is the large Hearthside Village sign not the intersection itself. Cheryl Jenson would like to address the hours of operation. She would like the board to take a deeper look at the project. John Huggins read a letter from his parents (owners of the Hearthside) (this letter is available in the Dollar General file) Don Lavoie talked about a clause allowing the consideration of whether a new building fits into the character of the area. (Character clause) This would hope to minimize the adverse impact on Hearthside Village.
Rita Farrell would like to know the speed limit on that stretch of road. She would like it lowered to 30mph. This would have to be an appeal to the state said Sandy Laleme. Several members of the public were concerned about the safety of intersection. Not the overall addition of a retail store.
Mike Bruno made a motion to waive the parking to 31 spaces. Chris McGrath seconded 6-0 motion carries.
Don Lavoie suggests a traffic study engineer. The cost could be split between the applicant and the town. Austin Turner suggests that the engineer for DOT would be the most independent. It is a very detailed application. John Stevenson said the state is not always correct. Sandy wants a traffic pattern study done. This hearing needs to be continued until these studies are complete.
Dave Wiley makes a motion to continue this hearing until March 22, 2017 at 6:00 pm. Marie Stevenson seconded 5-1 motion carries with one abstained Chris McGrath.
The two major issues of concern were the traffic impact on Cherry Valley Road and the look of the building. The applicant will get documentation from DOT on the driveway. He will also bring a different version of the front of the building.
Mike Bruno made a motion to adjourn. Marie Stevenson seconded 6-0 motion carries.
This hearing is continued until Wednesday March 22, 2017 at 6pm.
The board would like to thank Chris McGrath for his outstanding knowledge and dedication to the Bethlehem Planning Board. He will be missed.