Trader Joe’s Approval Reaches Final Steps

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Thursday June 27, 2013

Anyone wondering when they can purchase their favorite Trader Joe’s goodies in South Burlington will have to keep an eye on what the Development Review Board decides on July 2. Developer David White and Project Manager Paul Simon of White + Burke investment firm attended the latest Development Review Board meeting June 18 but said they needed a little more time to knead out the kinks of the bonding agreement for the road connection that was approved earlier this month based on Land Development Regulation.

The proposed two-building specialty retail grocery store is expected to be next-door neighbors with Healthy Living on Dorset Street. It will eventually be in a prime location as the City continues to develop plans for a vibrant City Center. If approved, Trader Joe’s will be the first of its kind in Vermont.

The project received a major green light when City Council approved the Interim Zoning application #IZ-13-02 of Malone Dorset Street Properties LLC--Trader Joe’s--during an open deliberative session at its May 6 meeting.

Eyes shifted from Council to the Development Review Board which is next in line for solidified approval for the anticipated project. After long discussion at the June 4 Development Review Board meeting regarding funding of the road connection to the eastern property line, a majority of the board members agreed to go forward with the applicant’s request of a bond under a three-year sunset agreement. Legal language of the bond was still being reviewed by attorneys when the final plat application came before the Development Review Board  June 18, but White said they should be set for the next meeting.

Before continuing the meeting in regards to the application, the Development Review Board approved recommendations for road impact fee credits based on staff’s recommendation. Approval of the road impact fee credits would allow the City Council to deliberate on the matter separately. Specific financial figures were exempt from the motion since it’s based on the actual cost which can only be determined when the project goes to bid, explained Paul Conner, Director of Planning and Zoning.

Behr moved that the DRB recommend that City Council, pursuant to Section 8 of the South Burlington Impact Fee Ordinance, approve a credit against any road improvement impact fee. The South Burlington Impact Fee Ordinance requires the applicant to pay on the following: a 20 foot southbound left turn lane; the pedestrian crossing infrastructure; a north to south and east to west sidewalk along future road; parking and curbing for future road; drainage system for future road; road connection and street lighting; in an amount that equals the actual cost to the applicant of the in-kind contributions as defined in the Impact Fee Ordinance and only to the extent to the actual cost of the impact of the in-kind contributions does not exceed the total amount of mean road improvement impact fee that the applicant must pay. Klugo seconded, and the vote was unanimous.

The board then reverted to the final application, and Barritt moved to continue the final plat application to July 2.

SOURCE: Miranda Jonswold, Correspondent