August 27, 2014

CVS wins approval from town

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Jan. 27, 2011

By Tim Simard
Observer staff

After three rejections from the Development Review Board over the past six months, a proposal for a CVS/pharmacy finally won support. On Tuesday night, the board unanimously approved a discretionary permit allowing the national chain to build a store in Taft Corners.

CVS can now pursue state permits, although the pharmacy may wait to see how quickly the town reacts to a separate proposal for an additional street in Williston’s busy commercial center.

Once built, CVS will be located on Vermont 2A at the corner of Wright Avenue, where its main entrance will be. Another access point, primarily for delivery trucks, would be on privately-owned Bishop Avenue, although the design of this road could change drastically in coming months.

The Vermont Agency of Transportation is considering a major change to Bishop Avenue, where a portion of its intersection with Vermont 2A would become an entry and exit point for right-turning vehicles only. Bishop Avenue would then connect to a proposed grid street running between Marshall Avenue and Wright Avenue. As Planning Director Ken Belliveau explained to the board, the Town Plan calls for a series of grid streets in Taft Corners.

“This would really be the first leg of a system of streets in that area,” Belliveau said.

The grid street proposal is part of a separate project by property owner Taft Corners Associates to construct a two-building retail space. The board expects to hear more details on the street and development in March or April.

CVS last appeared before the board in October, when company representatives asked for a vote to get the ball rolling on the project. The board voted against issuing a discretionary permit, citing design issues and questions about access roads. CVS has appealed to the state’s Environmental Court, which deals with development disputes. While the case awaits a hearing, CVS opted to present a redesigned plan before the board in hopes for approval.

The redesigned two-story building features a 14,200 square-foot first floor and a 5,600 square-foot second floor. Two separate spaces in the building will be available for retail or business tenants to rent, explained Matt Daly, a Burlington lawyer representing CVS.

Daly said the pharmacy still plans to use the Bishop Avenue access point, but said it prefers the potential redesign grid street option.

“CVS could schedule its construction later in 2011,” Daly said. “It might even prefer to wait for the grid street.”

Despite remaining concerns about large trucks using Bishop Avenue, the road’s owner, Marie St. Amand, also said she supports the grid street option.

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