In a letter addressed to the Moretown Development Review Board (DRB) dated February 23, Duxbury Planning Commission chair Brian Fitzgerald outlined the planning commission’s concerns regarding the proposed development of a Family Dollar Store at the intersection of Route 2 and Route 100 in Moretown.
The application for the proposed 100-foot-by-80-foot one-story 8,000-square-foot retail store includes a 25-year paved parking lot located at the former Arkley homestead, which will be demolished.
Duxbury Planning Commission members discussed the draft letter to the DRB at the commission’s February meeting; town officials told residents that the letter was an appropriate measure for the planning commission to take given the close proximity of the project to Duxbury and relative concerns about traffic.
According to the minutes, “They further explained that the commission is not opposing the project, but is raising concerns about the effect additional traffic will have on the U.S. 2/VT Route 100 intersection and the aesthetics of the project in this gateway area.”
Planning commissioners approved the letter after attending two public Moretown DRB hearings; the Duxbury planning commission has interested party status in the ongoing proceedings.
The letter reads, “We believe close scrutiny of several issues is in order. The impacts of the development on traffic are a major concern, including the level of service of the U.S. 2/VT Route 100 intersection, the intersection geometry and the lack of proposed improvements. Further, the location is the northern gateway to Duxbury. Consequently, the design of the building, landscaping, signage and lighting are important considerations.”
The letter also addresses the traffic impact report prepared by Trudell Consulting Engineers (TCE). “The report notes that the current traffic level of service for Vermont 100 northbound is F, the lowest LOS, meaning the capacity of intersection has already been exceeded. The report also states that the proposed development will add vehicles to the intersection, but will not change the level of service. While true, the statement is somewhat misleading since there is no lower LOS.”
In addition, the planning commission takes issue with the traffic counts that were conducted on a weekday; no assessment of weekend traffic was provided in the report.
Pedestrian and bicycle access and safety were also raised in the planning commission’s letter, as were the report’s lack of plans for sidewalks and crosswalks.
The letter concludes with a request that the Moretown DRB zoning regulations be applied.
“Finally, we note the good language in the Moretown zoning regulations at section 4.12 (signs) and section 5.2 (structure location, parking and service areas, lighting, and landscaping and screening). Again, given the ‘gateway’ nature of this area, we encourage the Development Review Board to rigorously apply these standards.”