20 Aug 2014
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Planning Commission Tables Vote on Proposed Drug Mart

New plans show smaller store, with fewer parking spaces, but neighbors say they need more time to review the plans.

Planning Commission Tables Vote on Proposed Drug Mart Planning Commission Tables Vote on Proposed Drug Mart

Architects and officials representing to the city’s planning commission Thursday night, in hopes of finding common ground with neighbors. 

But residents — who had less than a day to review the new plans — were less than thrilled.

The was listening. 

The commission tabled a decision on a request that would consolidate the property and change the south parcels from residential to commercially zoned properties. 

Drug Mart officials presented redesigned site plans, that included reducing the size of the store from 28,000 square feet to 24,000 square feet, taking away 12 parking spaces and scrapping plans to demolish a 100-year-old home abutting the proposed store.

However, developers would still raze an 11-unit apartment building standing in the way of the development. The tenants have already received their eviction notices.

Tim Moran, the construction and development manager for , said that the store needs a larger space than its 19,000 square feet space at 11900 Detroit Avenue to include a new grocery service. 

“Our mission is delivery a quality shopping experience,” he said, adding that the new store would add as many as 10 new jobs. “In order to do all of this we need a 25,000-square-foot footprint.”

Most of the nearly two-dozen residents who spoke at the meeting weren’t buying it. 

The expressed concerns about traffic, noise, pollution and — with across the street — safety.

Colleen Cotter, who lives two doors down south of the proposed plans, said most of the neighbors aren’t against .

“In fact, we’ve been a little lonely since Ganley left,” she said.  “Our concern is the additional space. It becomes a much bigger commercial enterprise in a residential neighborhood. There is a line.”

She also noted some concern that residents only received the plans a day before the meeting.

“Be careful of turning over residential properties for commercial use,” Cotter warned the commission. “It looks great, but you can’t get rid of things like light and noise and exhaust from delivery trucks.” 

Another neighbor said she supports the project — top to bottom.

“The lot that abuts mine has always been used for trucks and delivery,” she said, noting that she’s happy the site will no longer be vacant. “Since Drug Mart has taken over the property, they’ve at least taken care of the landscaping.”

The commission voted to discuss the issue again at its July meeting. However, the issue will come again before the city next week, when Drug Mart will present the building’s designs at the architectural board of review meeting next Thursday.

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