Traffic, design top concerns for proposed CVS

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Shannon Rutherford, project manager for a proposed CVS Pharmacy project in Prospect, answers questions for residents during a public hearing on the project April 15. –REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN
Shannon Rutherford, project manager for a proposed CVS Pharmacy project in Prospect, answers questions for residents during a public hearing on the project April 15. –REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

PROSPECT — A public hearing on a proposed CVS Pharmacy drew a crowd as well as concerns.

Dozens of people turned out April 15 for the hearing on plans by Waterbury-based Lombard Group to build a 13,225-square-foot pharmacy. The new CVS would be constructed on adjoining parcels at 26 Waterbury Road, the former site of the Buckmiller Brothers Funeral Home, and 4 Summit Road. The buildings at 4 Summit Road used to house offices and apartments until a fire partially destroyed them.

Additional traffic was the top concern residents addressed with the Planning and Zoning Commission.

The new pharmacy is estimated to generate 110 new trips per hour during the weekday evening peak and 87 new trips per hour during the Saturday peak, according to Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. Senior Traffic Engineer Charles Baker.

The company surveyed four intersections surrounding the site for the new store and rated them A through F, Baker said. Each intersection around the store received a C, he said.

“The additional traffic generated by the proposed project is not expected to have significant delays of levels of service at those intersections,” Baker said.

Mayor Robert Chatfield said there are times when the intersections are much worse than the report leads people to believe.

“A couple times during the day I would put that at a Q,” Chatfield said. “If you come by here 5 o’clock at night the traffic backs up to the firehouse. That is a problem here.”

Drivers will be able to enter and exit the CVS on Waterbury Road and Summit Road, according to the plans.

Resident Roger Allen said a parade of cars often backs up past his house at 30 Summit Road.

“You can’t get out of my driveway, never mind getting out of a parking lot,” Allen said. “When that parade starts you might as well not think of going anywhere because you’re not getting out.”

The CVS at 73 Waterbury Road will move to the new location, if the plans work out. The new CVS, which will be 4,000 square feet larger than the current store, will have a drive-through pharmacy and 74 designated parking spaces, according to plans.

Lombard Group Principal John Lombard said he has signed a 25-year lease agreement with CVS for the new site.

Aside from the new CVS, Lombard plans to demolish the building on Summit Road that was heavily damaged by fire and partially demolish and renovate an existing building into a 2,440-square-foot office space with 10 parking spots. He plans to move his company’s headquarters from Waterbury into the newly renovated building in Prospect.

While traffic drew the most discussion last week, residents and commissioners also voiced concerns about the proposed look of the CVS.

Plans call for what CVS describes as its “residential style.” This features a flat-roof building with decorative gables along the roofline.

Planning and Zoning Chairman Gil Graveline took issue with the design.

“You mentioned the term ‘residential style.’ I don’t see it. I’m sorry but I don’t see anything residential about this style,” Graveline said. “That’s way too industrial for a residential zone.”

Graveline said the building would not fit into the landscape of that section of town.

“If this was in the center of a large commercial plaza, then fine,” Graveline said. “But you’re right on the main road up here in Prospect and we all take great pride in what our buildings look like.”

Graveline presented a picture of a CVS in Canton with a pitched roof and clapboard siding that he thought would fit better in Prospect.

Lombard said he is willing to work with the town to consider other designs for the building.

The public hearing was continued to the commission’s May 6 meeting.