Robert LaBonne, Jr. is seeking a zone text amendment to the town zoning regulations, to change the maximum ground coverage for a single building in Middle Quarter C from 10,000-square feet to up to 20,000 square feet.
Chris Wood, on behalf of LaBonne, said LaBonne is hoping to move into a new building behind the former Corey's site, now home to .
LaBonne said he wants to have a bigger space to accomplish future goals for his business, as well as to increase economic development and bring in more revenue and traffic into town.
Proposed zoning text changes must be presented to the Planning Commission to determine if the changes conform with the Woodbury Plan of Conservation and Development.
When the commissioners voted at the Wednesday, Jan. 4, meeting, they unanimously felt the proposed zone text change did not conform to the POCD.
Commissioners were concerned that the proposed zone text change will allow the possibility of two 20,000-square foot buildings on the property.
Bob Travers said the original proposal for the area consisted of smaller buildings. He said that two 10,000-square foot buildings connected by a walkway has less of an impact than one 20,000-square foot building.
LaBonne said he does not even know, at this point, what the size of any future buildings will be. Presently, LaBonne's Market is 11,600-square feet.
Jane Sandulli said she did not feel comfortable making an exception for a particular instance such as this one but said she hates voting in a way that hinders the increase of economic development.
"I'm with Jane," said Eileen Denver. "Here we have a bird in hand and we don't want to harm the economic development."
Peklo reminded commissioners to look past the specific applicant.
"You've got to look way past him [LaBonne]," he said. "This affects Middle Quarter C."
Peklo said he believes that a building on the property can be creatively designed. He said that in his opinion, the proposed zone changes do not conform with the POCD, with the exception of the potential for increased economic development in town.
"And I'm not sure the bigger buildings mean better economic development," said Peklo.
The Next Step
A on LaBonne's proposed zoning text changes will take place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 10, in the .
Travers said the Zoning Commission makes the final determination as to whether the proposed change conforms with the POCD.
If the zone text amendment is approved, the applicant still has to go before the Zoning Commission for site plan approval, said Peklo.
Note: This article was edited to correct a statement made by Eileen Denver. The sentence now correctly reads: "Here we have a bird in hand and we don't want to harm the economic development."