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Dollar General at Planning & Zoning Meeting 3/15/18?

By Maurice D. Adams.

Will Dollar General be seeking approval for a building at 85 Bridge Road, Tylerville, at the Haddam Planning & Zoning meeting scheduled for this March 15, 2018?  The answer is somewhat complex, as follows, with most information herein obtained via interview with Liz Glidden, Haddam’s Town Planner, by the author on March 5th.

The “Applicant” for the 7,500 sf building  is MCG LLC; their engineer is BL Industries, which does much of Dollar General’s work.  The owner of the subject property is HWGA, LLC.  And the property is zoned Commercial (C1).  The application itself does not ever say “Dollar General,” and is described as a “retail end-user to be named” yet, to Ms. Glidden’s knowledge, no one has denied that Dollar General would be the ultimate tenant.

Haddam received the application in early January of this year, which was prior to the current building moratorium.  At the last hearing (March 1), the Applicant requested an extension (granted) and revised plans are expected into the Haddam Land Use Department this week.  When the revisions come in, they are available for the public to examine.  One would do this (say, next Monday the 12th), by simply calling Maureen Terry, (860.345.8531, ext. 216) Administrative Coordinator to Liz Glidden, and ask if the 85 Bridge Road revisions are in, and available for viewing.

The author recommends obtaining this month’s Haddam Bulletin (March 2018), to read the article on page 19 entitled:  “Tylerville: Intractable Chaos?”  It features a re-print of Mark Dubois’ May 2004 article “Tylerville Tantrums.”  This article can give you a great background on the pertinent history of Tylerville’s zoning mentality.  Enough said – Read It!!

After you have read the above “Tylerville Tantrums” article, try to obtain the Dec. 15, 2017 Wall Street Journal article entitled:  “How Dollar General Became Rural America’s Store of Choice; While other retailers focus on cities, the thriving discount chain is building thousands of stores aimed at lower-income shoppers in small towns.”  Whew.  The title sort of says it all.  The article also points out the other “Dollar” stores are not the same – Dollar Tree and Family Dollar are competitors.  In the Rural Roots paragraph, “Dollar General doesn’t own most of its stores.  It mostly leases steel-sided stores built to its own bare-bones specifications…”  Further, “After the company lost a 2015 battle to buy Family Dollar — the more urban chain — Dollar General decided to speed up its rural expansion.

By this time, you might wonder about your parameters in attending the March 15, 2018 hearing.  The public hearing for this application is open, and all are welcome to attend. Anyone can comment on this application as public testimony.  This particular application falls under “Site Plan Approval”, where the Commission can choose to have a hearing and review the application as it complies with Section 14 of the Zoning Regulations. These regulations are available on line at haddam.org.   Since The 85 Bridge Road application is in a Site Plan Approval, competition to existing businesses cannot be considered.  Criteria for approval or denial include:   Use, layout, traffic, landscaping, particulars of the building, height, setback, etc.  The Town Planner and the Consulting Engineer will issue a “Comments” letter, which is available at the hearing.   Currently, the Planning & Zoning Commission Meeting is scheduled for 7:00 p.m., but please check Town of Haddam website haddam.org/calendar for latest details.

2 Responses to Dollar General at Planning & Zoning Meeting 3/15/18?

  1. Dan Luisi

    March 7, 2018 at 10:25 am

    Was at this meeting and after debating the look of the sides of this 130 ft building, a couple board members decides that now they want this 130 ft building 30ft off the road with parking in back. so when you come up bridge rd you see the entire side of this 130ft clapped board sided building with faux(fake)windows. while river provisions and tony’s are set back. Why would anyone want to see the side of the building? They have this vision of a walking village with the essex’s train dropping people off to shop. Tell me who is going to walk up that hill to get anything? Some board members don’t seem to be very realistic. I do think we should have a building code that fits our town. But other than that let them come. It could be a nucleus for other business. we are not in a position to be picky. have you seen our 2 towns?

  2. Daniel Luisi

    March 7, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    i was informed that the plans have changed and this is no longer true so my statement above could be wrong.