New dollar store eyed off Route 7

FERRISBURGH — The Ferrisburgh Zoning Board of Adjustment on Wednesday will hold a continued public hearing on a proposal to build a Dollar General Store on a Route 7 site across from the new solar farm outside Vergennes. The hearing will reopen at 7:05 p.m. at the Ferrisburgh town office building.
The Dollar General Store, according to minutes from the board’s first hearing, on Oct. 6, and application materials, is the first phase of a “Conditional Use Application to construct a retail dry goods shopping center on the 9.9 acres located on the southeast corner of Route 7 and Monkton Road.”
The applicant and landowner is Group Five Investments LLC, which was represented by co-owner Joe Handy as well as experts at the 15-minute-long Oct. 6 preliminary hearing.
According to an Oct. 25 letter from Trudell Consulting Engineers on Group Five’s behalf, “the applicant’s intent is to obtain conditional use approval for up to three (3) dry goods retail stores in this location,” which is also near Vergennes Union High School, Denecker Chevrolet, and the Shaw’s Supermarket and Aubuchon Hardware plaza.
The first step would be the Dollar General Store in a standalone building. After initially proposing a building with a “shallow pitch metal roof,” the Oct. 25 letter now calls for one that “more closely resembles a barn with a gable metal roof. We believe the revised building design is now consistent with the rural character of the area.”
The letter also states the project’s landscaping plan pays “special attention to the screening from neighboring residential properties as well as the overall aesthetics of the project.”
Plans call for access to the property from Monkton Road, a brick facade for the building facing Route 7, 42 parking places to the west and north of the building, and a stormwater retention pond in the property’s southwest corner. The project would be served by municipal water and on-site septic, according to the application. Projected hours of operation would be 8 a.m. until 9 p.m., seven days a week.
The Oct. 25 letter claims that a traffic impact study shows a minimal impact on the nearby intersection of Route 7 and Monkton Road.
Commercial uses in that zone in Ferrisburgh — Highway Commercial with a 2-acre lot-size minimum — are conditionally permitted. Uses must conform to the town plan and be determined as not detrimental to their surroundings, and zoning officials may attach conditions to permits, if awarded.
Because the property consists of fewer than 10 acres, as confirmed by a recent survey, town officials said it would not require an Act 250 permit.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

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