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Farnham Planning Board approves Dollar General plan

The Village of Farnham took the next step in seeing the proposed Dollar General Store come to fruition as the project was approved by the village planning board.

For the project, approximately 1.8 acres was purchased at the corner of Commercial Street and Erie Road/Route 5. There will be a 31-spot parking lot and the adjoining lot will remain green space.

“This is a 9,100 square foot building,” said Dave Pollack of CSS Construction of Buffalo, who purchased the land. “It was clear that they did not want an entrance or an exit onto Commercial Street, so we have abandoned that. There will now be one entrance and exit coming off of Route 5/Erie Road.”

Pollack said that the building will be a split-block building as opposed to a metal frame building because the integrity of the building will hold better over time. He added that a metal frame building would start to show signs of rust after eight to nine years.

There will also be lighting on the side of the building that will be shielded in the back, along with a backlit sign out front. Pollack was not entirely sure regarding when the store sign will be lit, but typically he said they are lit 24 hours a day. The sign will sit perpendicular to the store along Route 5.

Planning Board member Nick Spratz asked about an official product list for this store, and was told by Village of Farnham Mayor Julie Gibbons that the Planning Board doesn’t specify what is sold in the store.

“I’m also asking as a resident,” Spratz said. “You have to remember I’m wearing two hats here. If I can’t sit at this table and ask these questions then I can just go sit on the other side of the room and ask these questions. I don’t care what another store carries; I care about what this store is going to carry. That’s my right, I’m a resident and I want to ask questions.”

“Unfortunately, if you are going to solely look at this as a resident, then you need to recuse yourself from the planning board for this project. You can’t wear both hats at the same time and make determinations and decisions,” Gibbons said.

Pollack would not immediately commit to planting more trees along the backside of the store for aesthetic purposes, though he did say he would consider it as the project moves along. He also said that he would consider extending the sidewalk in front of the store to Commercial Street.

Pollack stated that he would like to start the construction process in June and that it takes about 16-17 weeks to construct the building from beginning to end and to make it operational. He said that it could be up and functional by September.

“We own these buildings,” he said,” and they are very expensive to develop and own, so we are in this for the long term with these. This is a project that we’d like to see move forward because we’re definitely excited about it. I’m not here to see this building fail and I’m not here to see this business fail.”

The Planning Board approved the project by a vote of 4-1 (Duanne McCaulley, Thea Ells, Jimmy Russell, Sue Zaenglein aye, Spratz nay).

Next for the proposed project is to appear in front of the Zoning Board.

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