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Ripley Dollar General plans take step forward

January 18, 2017
By David Prenatt - , Westfield Republican

RIPLEY - Plans to construct a Dollar General store in Ripley took another step forward as town council board members passed a resolution at their regular meeting Thursday to review the site plan.

Ripley Supervisor Doug Bowen explained that a zoning law change in 2002 stipulates that any planned construction exceeding 5000 square feet of floor space is required to be referred to the town council for review after it is approved by the planning board.

The proposed site plan for Ripley proposes a 7,300 square foot building to be constructed at 50 E. Main Street, near the intersection of Shaver Street and Route 20, Bowen said. The plan calls for a parking lot with 25 regular spaces, two handicap spots and six overhead LED lights.

Article Photos

Photo by David Prenatt
Donna Wade, pictured above, has served as Deputy Town Clerk in Ripley for 30 years and was honored at a recent board meeting.

By accepting to begin the site plan review process, the town becomes the lead agency for the project, Bowen said. Other agencies involved would be the county planning board, the department of environmental concerns and the department of transportation, he said.

The first step is to initiate the State Environmental Quality Review Act process, which will assess any environmental impact from the project, Bowen said. The board also passed a resolution to move ahead with the SEQRA process.

Bowen said he would contact the county planning board to set up a meeting in which to review the site plan. He said he hoped to meet with that board on Jan. 23 or 24 and that the review process could be in place by the last week of January or the first week of February.

Bowen said the site plan for the Dollar General building was "very thorough." A main point of concern for the project is the construction of a fence along the west side of the property, he said.

According to the site plan, this fence, which would require a special use permit, would either be a six-foot high wooden lattice fence; a "green fence" made of living shrubs or trees; or a combination of both, Bowen said.

The town will also consider how well the construction would fit in with the character of the neighborhood, as well as provisions for erosion control, and storm water runoff capabilities, Bowen said.

If all goes well, construction could begin on the building in April or May, Bowen said.

In other business, council members approved the revised comprehensive plan for the town. The biggest change, according to Bowen, is that the comprehensive plan is no longer restricted under local law, but is a "living document" that can be reviewed and changed over time.

The town board voted to provide a negative declaration to SEQRA, meaning that the plan did not create any significant impact on the environment, Bowen said.

In response to a question from a resident, Bowen said the town's planned sewer and water projects have been held up pending an archeological review. "It's been a frustrating experience," he said.

Once the archeological review is passed, the town will have to create specifications for the work and put it out for bid. "That doesn't happen overnight," he said.

In order to expedite matters, Bowen said the town was trying to prepare to begin its water expansion project at the same time as the sewer project gets underway. The sewer project will be contracted out, but the water project can be done "in-house" by town employees, he said.

"I'm hoping that we can get the water project going while we are doing the bid specs for the sewer project," he said.

The council heard from Al Davis who owns the Pines Motel and Cottages on West Lake Road in Ripley regarding several incidents of dog attacks on cats in the area. Davis said he has buried at least five cats he has found killed in the area.

Davis said he has seen as many as four pit bull mixed breed dogs running the area. At least two of these dogs had collars, and since they seem to appear on the weekends, he suspects they belong to visitors to the area who let them run loose.

Davis said his hotel and cottages are pet friendly and the attacks have caused him to be concerned for children and small pets who come to his hotel with their families.

In another matter, the board recognized and applauded deputy town clerk Donna M. Wade, who has served in that position for 30 years. When asked about her years of service, Wade said: "I'm in shock. I can't believe it. Thirty years has just gone by so fast."



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