Imported Car Center would relocate
July 29, 2010By Greg Duggan Observer staff
CVS/pharmacy has approval to move onto the discretionary permit phase of development for a proposed project in Taft Corners.
The Development Review Board held a public hearing last month for a pre-application review of a CVS pharmacy, and authorized the project to apply for a discretionary permit. If Rhode Island-based CVS opts to pursue a discretionary permit and the project is approved, it would also mean a new home for the Imported Car Center.
Arlo Cato, owner of the Imported Car Center and the property at 2466 St. George Road, said he would sell the property to CVS and relocate to a nearby spot.
“I like what I do and I love this town, so I’m planning on staying here,” Cato said, though he acknowledged he could move the business outside Williston but within the area.
Cato said that he’s 62 years old and received a strong financial offer from CVS for the property. The pharmacy would raze the Imported Car Center to build a two-story, 13,600 square foot building. If approved, the building would be the first project to be constructed under new development regulations from last June that call for high quality, mixed-use designs.
“It argues for the (Development Review) Board being very careful and deliberate on what it is they approve, knowing it will set the standard,” Planning Director Ken Belliveau said. “It’s a prominent location. If this building is designed well, it will be a positive for the town. If not, if it’s junk, we’ll have to live with it for a long time.”
Representatives from CVS presented the plans to the Development Review Board on June 22. Under the development regulations, a project in the Taft Corners Zoning District must meet five of nine criteria. The CVS facility would attempt to meet those standards by offering multiple retail uses, multiple stories, wide sidewalks, public art and an urban park, according to minutes from the June 22 meeting.
Other plans call for a brick façade and a parking area behind the building.
Senior project engineer David Fenstermacher of design and engineering firm Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc. could not be reached for comment prior to press deadline.
Belliveau said Tuesday that CVS officials had requested a meeting with the Planning Office to discuss details of the project, but said he was unsure of when the project would reappear before the Development Review Board for a discretionary permit hearing. Belliveau said the project would also require an Act 250 land use permit from the state.
At the earliest, Belliveau said he doesn’t expect any construction to begin until next spring or summer.
Cato said he is frustrated by the lengthy legal and permitting requirements the town has for approving the CVS project, and was unsure when a move for the Imported Car Center would take place.
“I don’t know if it will take one year or two years,” he said.