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Family Dollar submits traffic study for review


July 11, 2013
By G. Michael Dobbs

news@thereminder.com

SPRINGFIELD — The traffic study for a new Family Dollar store on Island Pond Road near Allen Street has been submitted to the city for review, weeks after the developer had told a meeting of the East Forest Park Civic Association the company had already given city officials the report.

City Councilor Timothy Allen told Reminder Publications the report was submitted this week and the review process will begin next week. He has been told by Christopher Cignoli, the city engineer, the review might take several months.

Allen said the meeting of the civic association on June 12 indicated that many neighbors were opposed to a retail business building on that location. He said the type of business — in this case a discount retailer — wasn't the issue. Instead the concern is whether or not any retailer expecting a high volume of customers should build at this location.

There would be no zoning issues attached to the property and there are no special permits necessary, Allen said. The traffic is the concern, he added.

"The people who came [to the meeting] were not enthusiastic about it," he said.

Allen called the location "a horrendous intersection." He added, "There are many, many traffic concerns."

Those include two large school bus stops and congestion during the morning and afternoon commute.

The city councilor sent a letter to Robert Vann,
director of Development and Construction Bismarck Real Estate Partners Inc. on June 14 criticizing him for saying he had turned in a traffic study for the location when he had not at the civic association meeting.

Allen wrote, "For you to state that it had been submitted is a blatant misrepresentation of the facts. For you to make such a mis-statement of fact to about 100 residents who are concerned about this proposed development for both public safety and quality of life reasons greatly concerns me. We already have a project that the majority of the neighborhood does not want. Now you misrepresent that you have provided information that in fact has not been provided. This does not represent the type of behavior and integrity I would expect from a firm that wants to be part of our neighborhood."

Allen concluded, "In light of this misrepresentation of the facts, I strongly urge you to reconsider pursuing this development proposal."

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