Dollar General store approved for Walden
“That’s the nicest looking Dollar General I’ve ever seen,” said Town of Montgomery Planning Board Chairman Fred Reichle on Monday. The praise didn’t come easily for the project, which was raked over the coals by the Planning Board at their last meeting for its plain Jane box design and flat roof.
Engineer Larry Marshall returned on Monday with a new design that calls to mind the look of the new Hannaford store coming to Walden. Breaking up the box appearance, his design showed a peaked roof at the entrance, awnings, breaks in the design of the roofline, shutters to create the appearance of windows and a muted natural color scheme.
“It looks a lot better,” said Nancy Lamancuso of Walden, a neighboring resident.
The store is to be located at the edge of the Village of Walden on Route 52 in the Town of Montgomery, between the Amthor property and Grandview Avenue. A small sliver of the property is actually located in the Village of Walden, however no development is proposed for that portion.
“We’ve come a long way-this room has come a long way to get here from a box with Dollar General written on it,” said Reichle.
Residents once again expressed concern at Monday’s public hearing as to traffic safety, noting that the store will draw more traffic to an area that already has a speeding issue, times of dangerous sun glare and pedestrian traffic.
The board noted that their request to the NYS Department of Transportation (DOT) for the 30 mph speed zone to be shifted was granted, lowering the speed in front of the store from 55 mph. However, the shift was not as far as they would have liked, and only for the eastbound traffic. The moving of the sign will be handled by the applicant as a part of the project.
The proposed crosswalk was nixed by the DOT due to lack of sight distance and safety concerns. The Planning Board has opted to direct the applicants not to install a sidewalk in front of the store for the same reasons.
“It just creates an attractive nuisance,” said Reichle.
Reichle explained that the board felt it would tempt foot traffic and pedestrians crossing the busy state highway where there is no crosswalk. He noted that they also did not want to ask the applicants to create a sidewalk that “did not go anywhere” but had to be maintained.
Planning Board attorney Richard Hoyt advised at the meeting that the row of maple trees on the property that were to be preserved will all have to come down. The trees are located within the state right-of-way and the DOT has decreed that they come down. New landscaping has been added to the plans including new red maples set further back from the road and not under the powerlines, so they will not have to be trimmed.
“They’ll be young and healthy and not so tattered and bruised,” said Marshall, adding that a double row of pine trees will be placed between the store and Grandview Avenue, with forsythia bushes filling in between.
A new fire hydrant will also be installed on the north side of Route 52 across from the entrance to Dollar General. At the request of residents at the meeting, the board stated they would notify both the Montgomery Town Police and Walden Village Police of the approval of the project.
The project was granted approval, conditioned upon the review and acceptance of the lighting plan. Primax Properties and Dollar General will also have to bring another application for approval of its sign, at which time they plan to discuss having the sign turned off after a certain time every night.
“It was a long, rough road, but we made it to the end,” said Planning Board member John Lynch, adding that the end result was one of the nicest looking Dollar Generals he had ever seen and he believed it would be a nice addition coming into the village.
The board also approved the requests of Nedlaw Development Corp, a subsidiary owned by Walden Savings Bank. Nedlaw is in the process of acquiring a triangular shaped parcel at the intersection of State Route 208 and Old Route 208. Following the board’s approval on Monday, the property, consisting of a little more than half an acre, will be attached to Nedlaw’s existing 25 acres adjacent to the road.
A second lot line change, this one at the other end of Nedlaw’s property at the intersection of State Routes 208 and 17K, allows the company to set aside the corner with its landscaping as a “permanently green” space where there will be no future development.
By RACHEL COLEMAN