Last week, the Ocean View Planning & Zoning Commission unanimously approved the final site plan for the planned CVS pharmacy to be located at 54 Atlantic Avenue, just west of West Avenue on Route 26.
During the review, Ocean View Public Works Director Charlie McMullen stated that, during the preliminary site plan review in July 2011, there had been concerns about vehicle maneuverability in the proposed business’s driveway.
“Based on conversations with the engineer, they widened that surface area to accommodate those questions and concerns for safety. In doing so, they lost one tree,” he explained.
McMullen also noted that there were minor changes to the shrubbery landscaping but that most of what had been requested was included in the plan.
“Given the smaller area, we did change the kind of evergreen screen tree to something that will adapt better in that smaller area,” explained Mike Riemann of Becker Morgan. “The mature height is still a 12-foot evergreen barrier, but it won’t mature to 20 to 30 feet. That’s the major change in that area. Our intent was to maintain the integrity of the landscaping that was proposed at the preliminary site plan.”
He added that the project had received all needed agency approvals, including from the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT), state fire marshal’s office and Sussex Conservation District.
Commissioner Ron Smith asked if the pharmacy was still being built in colonial-style architecture, and Riemann assured him it was.
Smith also asked the engineers to consider saving an existing magnolia tree that many residents had requested be spared from construction.
“I think we can do that, if it doesn’t fall in a parking space,” said Riemann.
Resident Peggie Ravida, who lives behind where the proposed pharmacy is to be located, asked the commission to reconsider requiring CVS to put a full-length fence along the back of the business’s property.
“We were hoping for a fence along the whole back way, so that we would be protected against the light and noise. I think it would protect the community if the fence went all the way along the back.”
Town Solicitor Dennis Schrader recalled that the issue of a fence had been raised during the preliminary site plan review and that the commission had tried to address the residents’ concerns.
“I think it was deemed that the vegetation would be thicker and serve a better purpose in blocking and absorbing the sound, as well as things that may be floating around,” recalled Smith. “I think we put the fence in the corner, but that the vegetation was deemed to be a better solution.”
“If I recall those meetings, there was a compromise made,” said Riemann, noting that CVS was more than willing to install a full-length fence. “There were some folks who wanted it, some folks who didn’t… So there was a compromise made to provide a combination of fence and landscaping to meet the requests of the various folks.”
Riemann added that downward directional shielded lighting would be installed in the back of the business to ensure customers would be safe without it being intrusive to neighbors.
The commission voted 4-0 to approve the final site plan, with the condition that all outside agency approvals are supplied to the Town, with the exception of DelDOT’s entrance permit.
Developer Cory Martin said that they plan to break ground between July 15 and Aug. 1, with construction to last six months.
“We want to be open before the summer season, early spring,” he said of 2013.