Planners OK pharmacy

Published 10:13 pm Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Planning Commission on Tuesday unanimously recommended approval of two rezoning requests that will allow a Rite-Aid pharmacy to build on Holland Road.

Proposed for the intersection of Holland Road and Staley Drive, west of the Suffolk Bypass, the business would serve a growing area that does not currently have a pharmacy nearby, said Whitney Saunders, an attorney for the developer.

Nobody spoke against the proposal at the public hearings. Two requests and two hearings were required, because different owners currently own the parcels. The parcels will be combined to hold the new 14,000-square-foot pharmacy, as well as a stormwater management pond and a pad on which to place a large trash receptacle.

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Saunders said the developer sent notices to nearby property owners inviting them to an information session at Saunders’ office.

“The only real issue at that meeting was confusion, which is understandable,” Saunders said. Some folks who arrived at the meeting were concerned, because they thought the pharmacy would be on Staley Drive rather than Holland Road.

Saunders also said some traffic improvements at the Staley Drive and Holland Road intersection should “improve traffic flow in this area.”

The requests will be heard by City Council at its Aug. 20 meeting.

Also at Tuesday’s Planning Commission meeting, Howard Benton was re-elected as chairman, and Arthur Singleton was re-elected as vice chairman during the commission’s annual organizational meeting.

Planning Director Scott Mills reported that the Planning Commission will once again hear the matter of Bennett’s Creek Commons at its August meeting, set for Aug. 19.

City Council tabled the matter for three months at its second June meeting to give the developer time to come up with a commercial plan for the Bridge Road site.

Few tenants have materialized for the site, which was originally intended to be an office park, according to Sam Cohen and John Iuliano. They submitted a request for 144 garden apartments, but neighbors — and City Council members — were opposed to that plan.