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Planners forward Atlee grocery store

Posted on Thursday, June 26, 2014 at 10:45 am

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Will Hanover citizens have a third Walmart store location in the county? Planner C. Harold Padgett Jr., Chickahominy District representative, said at the planning commission’s June 19 meeting that this question may be answered in due time. Though planners stopped short of confirming rumors the big box retailer had its sights set on an Atlee location.

That night the commission unanimously recommended for approval plans for a 41,839 square-foot grocery store with a drive-thru pharmacy and 12 gas pump stations at the intersection of Sliding Hill Road and Charter Hill Court. Currently the property is zoned for business and the applicant wanted it rezoned to allow for the pump stations.

Customers would enter the store on Sliding Hill; however, the applicant is requesting a proffer to allow for another entrance behind the building on Leadbetter Road.

The property, owned by Wilhook, LLC., will also have roughly 168 parking spaces.

The building is planned to be tan colored with a green strip above the entrance.

Plans for the Hanover grocery store are similar to those of a Walmart grocery store recently announced in Henrico that is similar in size and also has a pharmacy and gas pumps.

The applicant’s representative, Chris Shust, said the store would bring 95 full-time jobs to Hanover County and produce additional tax revenue.

“We’re really excited about this project and we feel we’re bringing forward a good product for this area,” Shust said.

The store would have fresh groceries and household items for sale. Shust said the idea is for it to be an “all-in-one stop” for residents.

For planning staff to approve the store, the applicant and representative had to agree to some improvements, which would total $500,000 for road work on the property. Improvements include a traffic signal at the intersection of Sliding Hill, Charter Hill Court and Kings Charter Drive and the construction of a sidewalk along the west side of Sliding Hill along the front of the property.

Planning commissioners requested that there be a raised median along Sliding Hill Road in front of the proposed grocery store.

One resident, Eliot Bird, spoke in regards to the potential grocery store at the meeting. Bird has property nearby the planned location for the store and expressed concerns about flooding near his dentistry practice. He said that although he is not opposed to the project, he would like this problem to get fixed before the plan goes through and it’s too late.

“My worry is that my property will be a retention pond for his property,” Bird said.

“I’d like this to be addressed as it proceeds and goes through.”

Shust responded and said that the runoff should drain away from Bird’s property now and so it should no longer be an issue.

Now that planners have OK’d the proposed grocery store, the plans must go before the board of supervisors and a public hearing will be held for citizens to weigh in on the proposal. At the moment, it is unclear when exactly that will be.