Neighbors protest 15,000 sq. ft. Eagle Ranch grocery plan
A proposal from Village Market to build a 15,000 square foot grocery store in the Eagle Ranch commerical area isn’t popular with nearby neighbors.
They came out in force at Tuesday night’s Eagle Town Board meeting to protest the plan, saying the building is too large for the area where it is proposed.
Village Market, a small family-owned grocery chain, has proposed building the new grocery store in an area zoned commerical along Sylvan Lake Road directly behind the commerical buildings that front Capitol Street. The site plan calls for 64 parking places at the front of the building and the structure itself would sit in an area that is now a parking lot. A loading dock would be located at the rear of the building, which would be on the north-facing side of the structure.
“We are hoping there is a place in a community like Eagle for a small independent grocer,” said John Buxman of Village Market.
In addition to a development permit application to allow the store, the proposal has requested variances to allow a wider curb cut and a delivery dock. The business plans to direct delivery drivers to back up through the parking area to the dock.
Residents who live in the McDonald Street Townhomes would be most directly affected by the new building and many of them sent letters uging the town board to deny the application. Many of the residents also testified before the town board Tuesday.
I have a lot of concerns about the trucks backing in there, right next to our garage,” said neighboring property owner Greg Chandler.
Resident Dolores Gleason said the 15,000 square foot structure was being crowded into the parking lot area. “For the welfare and safety of the residents and families, consider a different location for a grocery store in Eagle Ranch,” she said.
“I have no problem with a small market in Eagle Ranch,” offered neighbor Krista Sagon. “But the scale of the operation is too large for the proposed location.”
Other residents said their property values would plummet if the store plan proceeds and urged the town board to require a more creative plan. “We have all talked about how nice it would be to have a store here,” said neighbor Chris Green. “But is this the right design for the neighborhood?
“I would like to think there is another solution that is a win/win for everybody,” Green said. “But we haven’t found it yet.”
Other Eagle Ranch residents, who admittedly live further away from the proposed store location, noted that construction of a grocery in the commerical area has always been a part of the overall development plan.
Resident Kent Rose said when he initally saw the Village Market site plan, he thought the building would be better situated at the street, rather than set back with parking out front. But as he studied the plan, he decided the parking plan would actually mitigate impacts for people who live nearby because it would concentrate auto traffic away from the alley and away from their homes.
“I think a grocery store would hold up a bakery and a cafe in the community. It would provide vitality in the community,” said Rose.
“A market has always been a part of the Eagle Ranch plan and it has always been promised,” said David Viele, owner of one of the commerical buildings in the Eagle Ranch core. “This is an opportunity for Eagle and Eagle Ranch to crawl out of the hole it is in.”
Supporters and opponents alike offered compliments to the Village Market team, voicing support for the family-owned operation. “We are not against the whole idea of a Village Market in the area,” said resident James Van Beek. However, he said the noise, traffic and site issues have not been addressed for the current proposal.
After a lengthy session of public comment and noting the late hour, the Eagle Town Board members voted unanimously to continue their discussion of the Village Market plan to the next regular meeting scheduled Tuesday, March 10.