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Lot 15 at Commerce Park

NEW >>>  Additional Hannaford Related Application Information – 2014
 
The Development Review Board (DRB) closed the public hearing on the Hannaford project on July 17, 2012. The project consisted of three applications (all reviewed concurrently):
  • Conditional Use Review for extended hours of operation;
  • Sign Review;
  • Site Plan Review.
The DRB issued the conditional use decision and the sign decision on August 30, 2012. The DRB reopened the public hearing for the site plan review at its September 18, 2012 meeting, and provided public notice to this effect on August 29. The site plan review was continued to and completed at the October 2, 2012 meeting, at which time the site plan hearing was closed. The DRB issued the site plan decision on November 6, 2012. View the Hannaford Decisions on the Hannaford Application Info Page

For more information, contact Alex Weinhagen (Director of Planning & Zoning) at 482-2281 ext 225 or hinesburgplanning@gmavt.net.



The November 11, 2010 application by Hannaford for a new 36,000 square foot supermarket on Commerce Street (behind Post Office and National Bank of Middlebury) has sparked a discussion about Hinesburg's plans for future community facilities. The Hannaford project is proposed on a 4.6 acre undeveloped parcel, which represents lot 15 from the Commerce Park subdivision. In 2009, the Town adopted our first Official Map to identify locations for possible future community facilities within the Village Growth Area - e.g., future roads, sidewalks, trails, parks, recreation areas, etc. Turns out the Hannaford proposal is in the same location that the Town identified for a future community facility.

The Development Review Board began its review of the Hannaford application at their January 4, 2011 meeting. After five meetings between January 4 and March 15, Hannaford requested a continuance to make substantive revisions to the plans to help address issues that had been raised. On July 26, 2011 and again on May 1, 2012 Hannaford submitted revised plans, and the DRB review continued.

At their July 17, 2012 meeting the DRB took final comments on this application and closed the hearing. The DRB now has forty-five days to deliberate and issue a written decision. Deliberations are expected to be done in closed sessions. A decision from the DRB is expected by August 31, 2012.

Information


DRB Meeting and Agenda Schedule

Development Review Board (DRB) review schedule for the Hannaford application.

January 4, 2011 DRB Meeting:
1. Overview of project
2. Building design
3. Lighting (site and building)

January 18, 2011 DRB Meeting:
1. Official Map
2. Front yard setback (related to proposed parking facing Mechanicsville Rd)
3. Signs

February 1, 2011 DRB Meeting:
1. On-site access, parking, circulation
2. Landscaping
3. Stormwater treatment/control
4. Operating hours beyond 6am-10pm

February 15, 2011 DRB Meeting:
1. Landscaping
2. Public comments on any / all issues

March 15, 2011 DRB Meeting:
1. Off-site traffic (on surrounding roads)
2. Public comments
>>Note –  At this meeting, the DRB granted Hannaford’s request for a continuance in order to make substantive revisions to the project plans in order to address the issues raised to date.

September 20, 2011 DRB Meeting:
1. Explanation of project revisions
2. Exterior Building Design

November 15, 2011 DRB Meeting:
1. Public comments/feedback (any/all aspects of project)
2. DRB discussion

December 6, 2011 DRB Meeting:
1. Official Map compliance for future public facilities
2. Follow up on exterior building design discussion from 9/20 meeting

December 20, 2011 DRB Meeting:
1. Traffic impact on surrounding roads – Hannaford’s revised assessment and mitigation measures
>>Note –  At this meeting, the DRB granted Hannaford’s request for a continuance to the January 17, 2012 meeting in order to organize and hold an architectural design charette with community members (outside of the DRB review) to explore exterior building design alternatives.

January 3, 2012 DRB Meeting:
1. Closed deliberative session for DRB members

Janaury 17, 2012 DRB Meeting:
No action taken – meeting cancelled at applicant’s request. Hannaford asked for more time to organize and hold the architectural design charette.

February 21, 2012 DRB Meeting:
1. Traffic impact – review input from independent traffic engineer
2. Stormwater Control Plan – clarify issues from January 17, 2012 meeting
3. Miscellaneous issues/evidence
>>Note –  Hannaford plans to hold an architectural design charette with community members (outside of the DRB review) on March 13 at 7pm at the Hinesburg Community School (cafeteria). The purpose of this charette is to explore exterior building design alternatives. Hannaford plans to take feedback from the charette, and use this to make revisions to the exterior building design, which Hannaford will then present to the DRB as part of the review process – likely at the April 2 DRB meeting. This charette is being held by and for Hannaford with facilitation by Bast & Rood Architects (a Hinesburg architectural firm). If you have questions about the charette, please contact Rob Bast at bast@gmavt.net or 482-5200.

March 20, 2012 DRB Meeting:
No public discussion. DRB plans to hold a closed deliberative session. Public hearing to be continued to May 15th meeting.

May 15, 2012 DRB Meeting:
1. Summary of latest plan revisions
2. Exterior Building Design – compatibility with surroundings
3. Official Map compliance for future public facilities
4. Stormwater treatment

July 17, 2012 DRB Meeting:
1. Traffic impacts and mitigation
2. Wrap up of final/remaining issues
3. Final comments/testimony from all interested parties
>>Note –  DRB plans to close the public hearing at the conclusion of this meeting. Once the DRB closes the public hearing, they have 45 days to issue a written decision.

September 18, 2012 DRB Meeting:
1. Hannaford Site Plan Review Hearing Reopens
>>Note –  The DRB decided to reopen the site plan review public hearing in order to obtain clarification of evidence important to rendering a decision. Specifically, the DRB needs clarification with regard to the proposed Farmers Market easement provisions as these relate to the project’s required accommodation of the future community facility shown on the Hinesburg Official Map.


 
Hannaford Review Process – Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

What is proposed?
The Development Review Board (DRB) is reviewing Hannaford’s application for a 36,000+ square foot supermarket. It is proposed for a 4.6-acre undeveloped lot on Commerce Street, behind the Post Office and the National Bank of Middlebury. This parcel is “lot 15” from the previously approved Commerce Park subdivision, and is owned by the Giroux family.

What kind of application is this?
This is a Site Plan application per section 4.3 of the Hinesburg Zoning Regulations. As a “Retail Establishment” the proposed use is permitted in the Commercial zoning district; however, it still requires site plan review/approval by the DRB as does any non-residential development project. Hannaford also submitted two related applications: 1) Conditional Use application for extended hours of operation beyond 6am-10pm per sections 4.3.6 and 4.2 (Zoning Regulations); 2) Sign application (1 near road, 1 on building) per section 5.4 (Zoning Regulations).

How can community members participate in this review?
Community input is appreciated and welcome by the DRB at each and every meeting. All respectful feedback is welcome; however, not all comments are “actionable”. Actionable comments are those that relate to specific review standards in relevant sections of Hinesburg’s land use regulations. Remember that the DRB must base its decision on the application’s conformity with the Zoning Regulations and the Official Map. If you want to make your comments “actionable”, look at our review standards, and reference them or use them as a frame for your feedback. Community members can submit written feedback or make comments during the public input portion of the DRB meetings. Any written feedback will be forwarded to the DRB, the applicant, and the landowner. If you can get written comments to the Planning & Zoning Office by the Wednesday before the meeting, we’ll make sure the DRB sees them in advance of the meeting.

How will the DRB make its decision?
Ultimately, the DRB must decide whether the application is in conformance with the relevant sections of the Zoning Regulations and the Official Map. These land use regulations represent the common “rulebook” that the DRB and all interested parties get to play by.

Note: Hannaford vested itself in the Zoning Regulations that were in effect when they submitted their original application on 11/11/2010. These regulations were revised several times in 2011, but the Hannaford review will not factor in those revisions, and will continue to be based on the regulations in place when their first application was received. These Zoning Regulations are dated October 12, 2009, and a link to them is available above.

The DRB review is a public process through which the applicant, the landowner, and interested community members can present evidence to inform the DRB before they render a decision. The DRB will hold a series of meetings to hear evidence and discuss various aspects of the project. When they feel they have all the evidence they need, the DRB will close the public hearing and begin deliberating to reach a decision. These deliberations may be in open or closed session, and must result in a formal written decision within 45 days of the close of the public hearing. The power to approve or deny the project at the local level rests with the DRB alone. Yep, a lot of responsibility for a seven member volunteer board appointed by the Selectboard. With that said, DRB decisions can be appealed to the Vermont Environmental Court. The Hannaford project will require State level review through the Act 250 permitting process, which will incorporate several State permits (e.g., stormwater treatment, changes to the Route 116 right of way, etc.). This project also requires at least one Federal level permit with the US Army Corps of Engineers for proposed impacts to a wetland area.

When will the DRB make its decision?
The DRB must issue a formal written decision within 45 days after they close the public hearing.

What about this Official Map?
Hinesburg’s Official Map (adopted in May 2009) delineates areas that the community has identified as important for future community facilities – e.g., future roads, sidewalks, community buildings, intersection improvements, etc. In this case, Hannaford is proposing to develop a parcel that was identified on the Official Map as a location for future community facilities. Examples of the types of community facilities envisioned are included in note #3 (upper right corner of the map), and include, but are not limited to, “Town Green, Community Center, Fire/Police Station expansion, Farmers Market venue, Parks & Recreation areas, Library relocation.” The Official Map carries the weight of a regulation, and Hannaford must demonstrate that their project can accommodate the future community facility shown on the map. If the DRB finds that the community facility can be accommodated, the Official Map poses no issue. However, according to State statute, “Failure to accommodate the mapped public facility or obtain a minor change in the official map shall result in the denial of the development…”

A denial of the project based in part or wholly on the Official Map starts a clock with regard to the Town acquiring the land or an interest in the land. The Town is under no obligation to purchase the land; however, if the Selectboard has not started proceedings to acquire the land within 120 days from the date of the denial, then the DRB must review the Hannaford application a second time without regard to the Official Map. In other words, the Official Map compels developers to save space for important public facilities in specific areas; however, it also compels the Town to put its money where its mouth is or drop the issue.

Before the DRB review began, the Selectboard, Planning Commission, and Village Steering Committee all had meetings to discuss the Official Map with regard to the importance of lot 15 on Commerce Street. All three boards reaffirmed that this parcel (in part or in whole) is an important location for future community facilities that will be needed as the village area expands and develops. Both the Planning Commission and the Village Steering Committee provided written feedback to the DRB explaining why lot 15 was placed on the Official Map. The Selectboard decided to create a “Lot 15 Committee” to evaluate and move forward with the acquisition of this land if possible. The Lot 15 Committee will be charged with several tasks, including: 1) Determining the cost to acquire the property; 2) Identifying funding sources to pay for acquisition; 3) Assessing the viability of the site for a broad array of community uses; 4) Assessing the accessibility of the site for community uses, especially parking needs. The fiscal implications (tax revenue, cost of services, etc.) of private versus public ownership and use may also become a charge for the committee, as several board members indicated this was an important consideration.

How do I learn more about this application?
Check the Town website for DRB meeting agendas, minutes of previous meetings, Hannaford project plans, and Planning & Zoning Department staff reports. Also, feel free to stop by the Planning & Zoning Office or contact Peter Erb (Zoning Administrator) at hinesburgzoning@gmavt.net or 482-3619. Peter is our lead staff person for the Hannaford DRB review. Miss a meeting and want to get caught up? DRB meeting minutes are on the website – generally about 1 week after the meeting. VT Community Access Media (VCAM) films DRB meetings, and broadcasts them on Comcast cable channel 17. VCAM also broadcasts these meetings on their website at www.vermontcam.org
 
 

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