Commission OKs permit for industrial building

PROSPECT — The Planning and Zoning Commission last week approved a special permit for a 40,000-square-foot industrial building on Union City Road.

The commission unanimously approved the permit for the building and site improvements at 99 Union City Road.

The property is owned by John Gallagher, who owns Industrial Storage, LLC. The plan is to use the site for storage, including for large equipment and vehicles. The 29.69-acre parcel was previously approved for a five-lot industrial subdivision, but those plans fell through.

The commission issued 13 conditions with the approval, including a $110,000 bond for soil erosion and sediment control; landscaping on the portion of the property that runs along Union City Road; and a pre-construction meeting must take place between Gallagher, the design engineer, the contractor, Land Use Inspector Mary Barton and the town’s engineer before any work starts.

In addition, the approval states that there has to be weekly meetings between Gallagher, the contractor, Barton and the town’s engineer during the installation of the water and electricity lines, slope reconstruction and grading.

Last year, Gallagher submitted a similar application. Members of the public and the commission expressed concerns that the sightlines for the proposed driveway at the time weren’t long enough and would pose a safety hazard.

The commission approved the special permit with the stipulation that the state Department of Transportation would rule as to the safety of the driveway. Union City Road, also known as Route 68, is a state road, and the DOT must approve projects on state roads.

That stipulation absconded the commission’s duty to find the application would not create a traffic hazard, according to the commission’s legal counsel, and the commission subsequently rescinded its approval.

Gallagher resubmitted his application in June with a slightly modified design.

According to the site plan, the sightline looking east from the proposed driveway meets the DOT requirements for passenger cars, single-unit trucks and tractor-trailers for a 45 mph speed limit. The sightline looking west meets the requirements for passenger cars and single-unit trucks but falls short of the required distance for tractor-trailers, according to information on the plan.

The DOT approved an encroachment permit for the driveway, contingent on several factors, including the commission’s approval of the project.

Under the application, the company is only allowed to have customers come by the site from 7:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and employees are only allowed to access the site from 5 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The commission also approved a special permit that allows Gallagher to remove 112,000 cubic yards of material from the site in order to properly grade the lot.