Family Dollar store not changing plans

By Julia Green
You can bet your bottom dollar on it. There is a signed agreement and it’s coming.
That was the assurance of Lawrence Tillick of Canandaigua, the developer of the Family Dollar store that has been proposed to be built next to the post office in Margaretville. Tillick, who also developed the Family Dollar store in Stamford, added that the initial lease has a term of 10 years.
At last Monday’s public meeting of the Margaretville Planning Board, Chairman Craig Ramsay was quick to define the role of the board in the current debate surrounding the building of a Family Dollar store in the village.
“The planning board is an organization appointed by the village board and we are empowered with certain things,” he said. “We can look at plans of submitted buildings – lighting, signage, size – but we cannot really not permit that building if it follows everything else that is in the village code. We will be able to decide how the building looks, is it OK… but we can’t prevent something from being built.”
In response to a question regarding the State Environmental Quality Re-view (SEQR) process, the board identified the meeting as the public hearing phase of the process and said that it has up to 62 days from Monday’s meeting to make a decision on the project.
There were a number of village residents whose property adjoins the proposed site of the Family Dollar store who attended the meeting, voicing concern at the integrity of their own parcels of land and how they will be impacted by the drainage plan in place on the property, and asked for some sort of guarantee from the developer as to the security of their own properties.
Code Enforcement Officer Patrick Davis assured those present that work would be done around the outside to resolve the issue of water around the property following rain, but reminded residents that the developer does not have the authority or the ability to make any modifications to anything outside his own property.
The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), which was responsible for inspecting the floodplain, has approved the project and is now out of the picture.
The planning board reminded those in attendance that one of the purposes of the public hearing is that issues that have not been mitigated will be brought to light, and that the developer of the project has 62 days to address those concerns.
Local resident Brian Ketcham presented a traffic impact assessment to the planning board, the findings of which he said were not reflected in the traffic report submitted to the board, which he called “flawed.”
“The traffic will have a significant impact on the community,” he said, and called for 24-hour traffic counts on Main Street. “The study does not indicate the proper amount of traffic that the store will generate if they do the amount of business they are claiming they will do.”
A number of village residents also contended that a feasibility study should be conducted focusing on the potential socioeconomic impacts of the proposed store. Under SEQR, fiscal impacts to the community can be addressed, and the board is permitted to request such a feasibility study from the developer.
Planning board member Kent Brown added that the board would welcome written comments from the community voicing concerns that they would like to see addressed by the developer; the planning board will then determine which comments are submitted to the developer for comment.