Dollar General proposing new store in downtown Lyndonville

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 16 December 2020 at 8:59 pm

LYNDONVILLE – A new Dollar General store has been proposed for downtown Lyndonville at the former Crosby-Whipple Oil Corp. service station.

The Broadway Group, a commercial real estate developer from Huntsville, Alabama, is proposing to demolish and remove the Crosby-Whipple building at 30 North Main St. It would be replaced with a 7,200-square-foot Dollar General with 29 parking spaces.

The site is in a historic district and the building needs a “certificate of appropriateness” from the Village Planning Board.

Tara Mathias, development manager, met this evening with Planning Board members through Zoom video conferencing. She said the store can be designed in a way that fits in with the other buildings in the district.

She said the new store would revitalize the downtown and be convenient to the local residents.

“It’s just a quick trip down the street to the neighborhood store,” she said.

The building is on a 1-acre site and will need variances for setback distance. The store is the smallest building offered by Dollar General at 7,200 square feet. Most of the stores are over 9,000 square feet.

Patricia Gawne, a member of the Planning Board, asked why Dollar General wants another store only 4 miles from the one at the corner of Route 63 and Ridge Road in Ridgeway. That 9,100-square-foot Dollar General store opened in October 2014.

Mathias said Dollar General wants to cater to their customers, and there currently isn’t a Dollar General in the village.

Barbara Champlin, owner of the EZ Shop in Lyndonville, said the store will hurt the locally owned businesses in the community. She saw her grocery sales go down 30 percent when the store on Route 104 opened.

“I’ve seen the downside of these big corporate businesses coming in,” she said during the meeting this evening.

The Broadway Group will continue to work on the site plan and will apply for variances from the Zoning Board of Appeals. The village engineer, the MRB Group, said some of the drainage will be improved at the site by increasing a sewer line from 8 to 12 inches.

The village wants to make sure a retaining wall is adequate to protect the property from when there are rising waters at Johnson Creek.

The store plans to have eight to 10 employees, Mathias said.

The Planning Board also discussed two other projects in the village.

• Taller Communications Tower: SBA Communications wants to extend the cellular phone tower at 246 West Ave. by 25 feet to accommodate microwave dishes and additional equipment. The tower is currently 225 feet high.

Village officials believe the tower was originally 190 feet high and this would be the second extension. The MRB Group will review the project to make sure the tower would be structurally sound. There is a chance the company would need an easement from neighboring property owners if the fall line would extend into a neighbor’s property.

The project will be sent to the Orleans County Planning Board for its review and opinion.

• Solar project: Panek Farms wants to have a solar array constructed at 15 Linwood Drive. The project would generate 340 kilowatts of electricity to be used by the farm. The array would have 960 panels and run about 1,000 along the edge of the property in a spot that isn’t active farmland. Panek Farms is working with Solar Liberty on the project.

The solar panels would be set off from the road. When corn is high for several months a year the panels won’t be visible to people driving by or any neighbors, said Jim Panek of Panek Farms.

Steven Vann, the Planning Board chairman, wants the village engineer to review the project. Dan Wolfe, the village code enforcement officer, said the ground-mounted solar project is an allowable use because the electricity will be used by the farm and isn’t a utility-scale project.

The Planning Board next meets at 6 p.m. on Jan. 20.