Buck stops here: Family Dollar not coming to village quite yet

By Julia Green
Don’t pull out your dollars just yet: the Family Dollar chain store initially planned for the property adjacent to the Margaretville Post Office isn’t setting up shop in Margaretville quite yet.
“We as a company just elected not to build there,” said Tom Nash, senior vice president for real estate, in an interview. “We re-evaluated the market area and felt that that particular location did not meet our criteria.” Nash said that he doesn’t know if the company will be exploring options to build a retail location anywhere in the Delaware County area.
Patrick Davis, Middletown code enforcement officer, said that despite the Family Dollar chain’s withdrawal of its application, the developer is still planning to move forward with construction of a retail store in that location.
“Lawrence Tillack plans on moving forward with that store,” Davis said. “The only difference is that the tenant will not be the Family Dollar. It may be someone else, but it will still be the same type of store.”
At a meeting of the Margaretville Planning Board last Tuesday, Tillack said that the parties involved are “renegotiating,” but confirmed that developers are still moving forward with developing the property for retail.
The footprint of the structure, square footage and design of the building will stay the same as proposed in the current renderings; the only change would be the signage on the building, if the tenant is someone other than Family Dollar.
If the planning board decides that any changes constitute “substantial” changes, it can send the application back to the county for a 239 review.
The board also heard and discussed some issues pertaining to flooding that has occurred on adjacent properties since development of the lot began, particularly neighboring residential properties.
Davis suggested that part of the problem may be that the fill material used at the site was not the correct type, and as such is not draining properly; he added that the developer put in the fill without guidance, and as a result would be required to remedy the problem if told to do so. “We follow the DEC’s recommendations with these things,” he said, and added that he was waiting for a complaint in writing from the owners of the property in question.
He advised that the board has the option to approve the application with a condition; in this case, that the developer ensure that the fill material is acceptable, either in its current form or upon its replacement.
The board made an on-the-spot adjustment to the environmental assessment form, which was then initialed by the developer.
Davis, along with Planning Board Chairman Dr. Craig Ramsay, argued in support of the developer, saying that they believed he had made every effort to negate the drainage problems by submitting a drainage plan that utilizes pits for collecting water, but added that there was no way of knowing that the plan would work until it is implemented.
“You’ve got to assume that the design professional actually knows what he’s doing,” Davis said.
The board passed a motion for approval of a special use permit for the property with the stipulation that the fill on site meets all requirements of the floodplain standards as per the DEC.