Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Doh, we forgot to tell you about the 140 foot wall

The plan for the proposed Rite Aid pharmacy on the corner of Main and Union Streets goes before the Planning and Zoning Commission Wednesday evening at city hall (7 pm Council Chambers).

So the architects have made-nice by making it all store front on Main Street.

Then there's the drive-thru window. A bad idea for a Main Street building to begin with (so bad that an ordinance is on the books against such drive-thrus), but the ZBA voted to allow an exception.

What no one talked about at that ZBA meeting was the plan to put the parking lot along Union Street at the same grade level as Main Street. This means building an inclined ramp to access the parking lot, and constructing a retaining wall that, if I'm reading the elevations correctly, could be more than 140 feet long, and up to 6 feet tall by the time you reach the ramp, and 11 feet tall by the end of the lot.

A 140 foot long, concrete wall which inclines to 11 feet, topped with a chain link fence is neither pedestrian friendly, nor good downtown planning.

Planning and Zoning needs to ask for an adjustment to the plans, and must be brave enough to face a developer who claims they are ready to walk away if they don't get what they want. Believe me, they want this location, or they wouldn't be going through the time and expense they've already spent.

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