- By Dan Veaner
"I'm very pleased." Sciarabba says. "The Town has been very cooperative, and the community has been very supportive of the project. I think the pieces are falling into place as well as can be expected. I have a timetable, and so far we're on schedule, so that's great."
Fewer than a dozen people showed up for a public hearing Monday to consider the supermarket plan. A neighbor, Paul Southard, commented with concerns about light pollution and sound pollution, saying that he is very much for the project but hoped the Planning Board would consider these issues. He said there is more truck noise since the new Xtramart opened, and he is concerned with more still as the corner becomes more active in commerce. Planning Board members noted his concerns, and Boar Chair Lin Davidson said that a lighting plan has already been approved for the project that addresses the issue.
Lansing Recreational Pathways Committee member Ruth Hopkins also spoke, noting that her committee has been working with the contractor to provide for future safe pedestrian access. Sciarabba said that the project is being pushed back from the road by ten feet to allow for the possibility of future sidewalks or some form or pedestrian walkways.
Once a site plan is approved by the Planning Board it is up to the contractor to fulfill any conditions they set in order to be eligible for a building permit. Sciarabba says that the few conditions the Planning Board set have already been fulfilled. Town and county engineers and officials have verbally approved the plan, so once that is put in writing the way will be cleared for the building permit to be issued.
Previous approval was given to fill in the site to raise the level of the site with fill. Over the past couple of months this work has been done using fill that came from the Warren Road Sewer project. At this point the site is built up to the required elevation to begin construction. Sciarabba says that the next step is to do stormwater work, which has already been engineered and approved and will likely begin within the next few weeks. Meanwhile detailed plans will be developed.
"We're hoping to start submitting drawings to the Town within the next two weeks -- foundation plans and that sort of thing -- so we can start getting the design and elevations done," he says. "The foundation plan is the easiest part. The rest of the building is a little harder."
Owners will also meet with Philadelphia based equipment suppliers to finalize what equipment will be needed for the store and what it will cost. Sciarabba says he hopes construction can begin by January to keep on the aggressive schedule that will allow the store to open in May or June. That opening time has been calculated to take advantage of the beginning of tourist and camping season which owners hope will give the store a boost in its opening months.
While there is some concern about the impact bridge work just north of the site will have on business, Sciarabba says that he thinks it will be negligible.
"We probably won't even be open for part of that time," Sciarabba says. "We may be affected in the last month, month and a half. I don't think it's going to affect us that much because people will still have to detour around it. I hate to see that for the folks that live there, but I don't think it will affect us much."