Construction of the 9,000-sqaure-foot, single-story chain discount store is expected to begin sometime this winter.
Tara Pesta, from mbi/k2m Architecture — the firm representing Family Dollar — was on hand to field questions from the board.
The last time Family Dollar’s developer went before the board, the plans were sent back to the drawing board.
Criticisms included that the designs needed to feature windows; no split-faced blocks; a variety of bricks; and the façade should have more depth.
Pesta said the company was listening.
The new designs showed not two types of brick, but cast stone and red brick; additional windows; fences; and landscaping.
“We’ve taken the original (design concepts) and tried to make some improvements on them,” she said. “We’ve done a lot of work.”
Pesta said that if all goes according to plan, the store could be finished by the end of spring.
Dru Siley, the city’s director of planning and development, asked the board to include several conditions as part of the approval — which included ensuring that the company pays for sidewalks repairs and tree replacements.
According to the plans, the adjacent building on the property would be demolished to make way for parking.
That news didn’t sit well with Linda McDonough, who lives 1422 Grace Avenue. Right next to the proposed development.
She pointed noted that the location for the store’s garbage cans would sit right next to her backyard. McDonough asked the board to require Family Dollar to build an 8-foot fence along her property line.
The board agreed.
“I use my backyard every single day,” McDonough said. “I have spent thousands of dollars on a pond and brick patio. It’s been spectacular. We’ve lived out there for the past 16 years, and we’ve really enjoyed it, and we’re very worried that this is not going to continue.”
Mary Louise Madigan, the Ward 4 city councilwoman who represents the neighborhood, doesn’t want the store there at all.
“The design is different, I get that,” she said. “It’s not good enough for this neighborhood — certainly not for one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in Lakewood."
Madigan said she would prefer to see the property vacant in the hope of getting different tenant while the economy turns around.
“It’s not the type of retail establishment that I was hoping for in my neighborhood,” she said. “I was hoping for something more than a dollar store.”