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Dollar General hearing once again continued

  • Austin Turner, left, a senior project manager for Bohler Engineering, sits with Chad Brubaker, of Lisciotti Development, during a public hearing Thursday regarding a proposed Dollar General location in Deerfield. Staff Photo/Domenic Poli



Staff Writer
Friday, November 09, 2018

DEERFIELD — Residents appeared unimpressed with Dollar General and affiliated firms Thursday after a revised site plan for a proposed Deerfield store presented at Thursday’s public hearing seemed to them virtually the same as the original from May.

The hearing was continued to Dec. 10.

Laughter erupted from the crowd of roughly 50 people inside Deerfield Town Hall when Austin Turner, a senior project manager for Bohler Engineering, the engineering firm working for Lisciotti Development, the developers of a Dollar General location proposed for the north corner of Mill Village Road and Routes 5 and 10, placed the revised site plan on an easel at the right of the Planning Board’s table. Several people said the public’s safety and aesthetic concerns were not adequately addressed.

Planning Board Chairman John Waite was one of the people unhappy with the revised plan.

“This is crazy,” he said, prompting applause from the audience.

After the hearing, Turner said there are roughly a dozen differences between the original proposal and the revised one. He said these included upgraded landscaping and improved stormwater drainage.

But roughly a dozen people approached the microphone near the easel to express their disappointment. Tolly Stark, a member of Deerfield for Responsible Development, encouraged the Planning Board to vote then and there on the site plan, though the board declined. Tim Hilchey, another member of Deerfield for Responsible Development, told The Recorder the new plan is “substantially similar” to the original.

Lisciotti Development’s South Deerfield DG, LLC, has been contracted by Dollar General to develop the land. Chad D. Brubaker was at the meeting with Turner to represent Lisciotti.

Resident Mike Gilmore said the developers and engineering firm are “agnostic to the safety concerns” associated with placing a store at that corner of busy Routes 5 and 10.

“They just want to put a piece of property there,” he told The Recorder.

The next public hearing is aimed at receiving final answers regarding the public’s concerns over traffic flow and how the architecture of the proposed store would fit in with the character of the town.

Earlier in hearing, Jean Christy, a project engineer with Tighe & Bond, the consultant hired by the town to review Bohler Engineering’s analysis, confirmed the eight parking spaces added to the original proposed plan are formally included in the Bohler’s Nov. 2 submittal, meaning they are in compliance with the town’s zoning bylaws. Bohler, she said, can therefore withdraw a special permit application it submitted for those parking spaces. Turner said he would be happy to put that withdrawal in writing.

On Thursday, one woman expressed concern over parking lot safety, citing a report of a 42-year-old woman killed after being hit by a tractor-trailer in a Dollar General parking lot in Florida in December 2017.

Planning Board Vice Chairwoman Rachel Blain said it was wonderful to “see an outpouring of voices coming from the public.”

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