Deerfield Planning Board rejects Dollar General site plan

  • Staff Photo/Domenic PoliTrees that were planted at the corner of Mill Village Road and Routes 5 and 10 in October, six months after they were clear-cut. There had been speculation the cutting was conducted so private land could be sold to Lisciotti Development’s South Deerfield DG, LLC, which was been contracted by Dollar General to develop land for a retail location.

Staff Writer
Published: 12/11/2018 2:42:31 PM

DEERFIELD — The idea of a Dollar General location at the north corner of Mill Village Road and Routes 5 and 10 appears dead in the water after the Deerfield Planning Board voted Monday to deny the variety store chain’s site plan.

Henry “Kip” Komosa abstained from the vote and was the only Planning Board member not to vote to reject the plan. The vote generated applause from many of the 50 people in attendance in the Deerfield Municipal Offices.

Deerfield for Responsible Development, a grassroots group of residents opposed to the proposed project, wrote on its Facebook page a congratulatory message to its supporters and said the vote is “proof that a formula box store cannot come into our town and dictate or disregard our concerns, but instead must adhere to our by-laws and must respect our town and the best interests of its residents!”

Tim Hilchey, a chairman of Deerfield for Responsible Development, said his group is pleased with the vote and believes the Planning Board made the right decision.

“I certainly have a reason to smile,” he said.

Hilchey said, however, this does not necessarily mean an end to Lisciotti Development’s efforts to build a big box store in town. He said he and his group will remain vigilant in its fight.

Lisciotti Development’s South Deerfield DG, LLC, has been contracted by Dollar General to develop the land. Attempts to contact Chad D. Brubaker of Lisciotti Development and Austin Turner, a senior project manager for Bohler Engineering, the engineering firm working for Lisciotti, were unsuccessful Tuesday.

Douglas Grunert, project manager for BKA Architects, the architecture firm of record for Lisciotti, said in his presentation of revisions Tuesday that the proposed building would have “a barn look,” including cedar shakes and barn-style window panels and shutters.

Katie Bednaz, a wetland and soil scientist with Freshwater Wetland Services, gave a synopsis of a report she compiled for Deerfield for Responsible Development. Her report, obtained by The Recorder, states site and application material review indicates additional investigation is needed to understand the impacts of the potential development as it relates to wetlands.

Filing with the Deerfield Conservation Commission is required if jurisdictional wetland resource areas are located within or adjacent to the property, Bednaz noted.

Lili Dwight of South Mill River Road on Tuesday expressed concern over pedestrian safety in a Dollar General parking lot, referencing to a woman who was killed in such a parking lot in Florida in 2017.

After the site plan decision, a motion to approve the developer’s stormwater permit failed to pass after the Planning Board voted 3-3 on it — it needed a majority vote, so a tie is a “no.” Chairman John Waite and members John Baronas and Paul Allis voted for it, but members Rachel Blain, Max Antes Jr. and Roger Sadoski Jr. voted against it, while Komosa once again abstained.

Before the vote to adjourn, Waite thanked residents for “participating in this public process.”

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.


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