LAKE PLACID - An engineer from Saranac Lake representing a development firm that plans to build a Tractor Supply store in Ray Brook pitched a modified store design to the North Elba-Lake Placid Joint Review Board Wednesday, April 16.
Board members had several issues with the proposed sketch plan for the store when the groups met last December. A delay in bringing the revised proposal to the board came from snow slowing down the firm mapping out the property.
DMK Development plans to begin building the store by this summer.
"Tractor Supply would very much like to come to this region in North Elba," engineer Cindy Garso said. "It fits them very well. ... I believe the building, at this point, is the crucial element I'd like to resolve tonight."
But that didn't happen. Review board members agreed that the sketch plan had gone in the right direction aesthetically but said there were still two problem areas: the dimensions of the building and signage. Variances to the code were not an option, the board agreed.
Garso, of North Woods Engineering, began by showing the board photos of other buildings on the road, like the State Police Troop B headquarters, the state Department of Environmental Conservation Region 5 headquarters and the Sunoco gas station and store.
"I wanted to remind everyone," Garso said of the location.
Bill Hurley, chairman of the review board, said the building is "going to fit in" with the others in the area, but the problem is it's slightly bigger than the code allows.
"There can't be a variance for this?" Garso said.
The board then discussed the code and whether a variance could be given in this instance. Hurley said the changes at this point are not functional, just cosmetic.
"We can't get around what the law says," Hurley said. "Find some combination of height change, depth change."
Tractor Supply wants to build a larger sign on the store and a smaller one by the road. Hurley said he would prefer having a smaller sign at the road. The review board members then discussed the overall percentage of signage proposed and came to the conclusion it was too large. Garso explained that the state Adirondack Park Agency, based a few doors down the road, also has jurisdiction over the signage, so she and the company were attempting to conform to both codes.
"It's like fitting together different puzzle pieces," Garso said.
Garso asked if it were possible to get a sign variance, and Hurley said the North Elba-Lake Placid Zoning Board of Appeals takes at least two months to decide. Garso said the company was to make the decision Thursday, April 17 whether to pursue that option.
If the changes are made to the sketch plan, the lot could then be staked out, and then the board would make an on-site visit to review it. After that, a public meeting would be held before approval is considered.
Garso said the meeting went much smoother than in December.
"It was much more productive," she said.