Aberdeen Gives OK for CVS
The Aberdeen Town Board has approved a conditional use permit that will allow for the development of a CVS pharmacy on U.S. 1 near the intersection of U.S. 15-501.
The board voted 3-2 Thursday to approve the permit, with a laundry list of conditions, including several that were added during a called meeting that lasted more than three hours. Mayor Betsy Mofield was absent from the meeting.
The drugstore would be on the main parcel of three at that site.
Commissioners Robbie Farrell, Walter Wright and Jim Thomas voted to approve the permit with the discussed conditions, while commissioners Pat Ann McMurray and Alan Parker opposed it.
Several concerns about the proposed permit were addressed during the meeting. The main issues centered on the parcel behind CVS, called parcel C, and whether or not access to Poplar Street from that parcel should be permitted.
“One hundred percent of constituents I have heard from have said, ‘Please do not let them make a connection to Poplar Street,’” Commissioner Alan Parker said.
The N.C. Department of Transportation (DOT) recommended the access.
The board was leery of adding a connection to Poplar Street because it would increase traffic on the road, which was something residents who live on the street did not want.
“There are techniques you can use to discourage people from using that (access road) as a cut through,” Planning Director Kathy Liles told the commissioners.
Board members did not rule out allowing access to Poplar Street but placed restrictions on the development of parcel C.
One condition is that the parcel be classified as a major modification special use, so that whatever is developed on the property must come before both the Planning Board and the town Board of Commissioners.
The commissioners also added a condition that if the connection to Poplar is made in the future, there would be no through access to tractor-trailers and other large trucks.
Another condition prohibits a connection to Poplar Street from the other two parcels.
Concern was expressed that the property has split uses, and without a development plan for the parcel, the commissioners worried about what type of businesses would be on the land that is closest to the homes on Poplar Street.
An amendment to further restrict the uses on that parcel was unsuccessfully added to the final motion to approve the permit.
Other amendments to the permit included allowing two access points to the development on U.S. 1. A main access road will be located near the traffic light at U.S. 1 and U.S. 15-501, and a secondary access will be farther down U.S. 1. The DOT has required that a concrete median be placed at the secondary access to prevent vehicles from turning left onto U.S. 1.
Marty Tillman, of the DOT, told the commissioners that his office would have preferred a deceleration lane too, but that that was not feasible with the plan proposed.
Parker raised concerns that the increased traffic generated by the proposed development would further hamper traffic flow to a point that is deemed unacceptable in the town’s ordinances.
Liles responded by saying that is a recurring problem with most developments.
“The problem is we have a deficient road network, and with every project, we are going to be dealing with a deficient road network,” she said.
The number of parking spaces for the CVS was reduced from 75 to 66. Parker still opposed it because even with the reduction, there would still be three rows of parking spaces, something that is a requirement for all CVS stores.
“We have a butting of heads between what CVS wants and what the town of Aberdeen wants,” Parker said on the parking issue. “And if CVS wants to build in Aberdeen, they are going to have to give a little.”
McMurray said she agreed with Parker on the parking issue. She asked that a third row of parking spaces near the front of the development and closest to U.S. 1 be removed.
Developers argued that they had met the parking requirements in the town ordinances, reminding them that there was nothing that prohibited three rows of parking spaces.
The permit for retail sales with high-volume traffic generation was being sought for an application filed by Moseley Real Estate Advisors. It affects land owned by Huntley Family Limited Partnership and Bonnie McPeake.
In late June, the board delayed a vote on the project until it was reviewed by the DOT. The town Planning Board earlier approved the project with a laundry list of conditions.
The development plan calls for demolition of the Sizzlin’ Steak or Eggs building as well as at least partial removal of the Sandhills Office Park. The Sizzlin’ Steak or Eggs plans to relocate across U.S. 1 from Mac’s Breakfast Anytime.
Prior concerns raised by the commissioners were increased traffic at the intersection, which is already the busiest in Moore County, access to the development via Washington Street and/or Poplar Street and number of parking spaces.
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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