CARRBORO - CVS developers don’t know when they will submit a final plan or how it will look, but neighbors are clear about their preferences.
About 15 residents listened Wednesday as developer Chris Bostic explained three revised options he said reflect town staff, advisory boards and residents’ comments.
Resident Celia Pierce said she thought the second two options were most appealing, because they leave a mix of homes, small businesses and possibly a park on Center Street.
“Those are the options that give some hope for preserving the Center Street neighborhood,” she said.
Other residents remained concerned about light pollution, noise and traffic.
“You’re creating this magnet for traffic,” said Peter deLeeuw, of Center Street Preservation Trust LLC, which owns a house at 102 Center St. The partners have refused to sell their lot.
“You sort of do the irrevocable thing now, give it a small parking lot, and down the road, people may clamor for more parking there, to the detriment of the neighbors,” he said.
Redd Realty developer Leigh Polzella said they sought residents’ comments to “try to come up with a plan we think will fit as best we can with all the input that we have.”
“The reality for me is my job is to take the plan back that we think will work here for CVS, and they either take it or leave it,” she said.24-hour store
The revised plans are similar to those submitted March 15 to the Carrboro Planning Board.
A 24-hour retail store and pharmacy would be on the first floor of the 24,600-square-foot building, with second-floor offices and storage space. Parking has been reduced to between 47 and 61 spaces in two lots.
The plans also move Dumpsters from the corner of Weaver and Center streets to the Short Street parking lot, and at least two exclude a house at 104 Center St. Stormwater features include biorentention gardens, an underground cistern and pervious pavement.
But a few changes give “architectural relief to the building and give it a good urban feel,” Polzella said.
The plans show tables and chairs on Weaver and Greensboro streets, a mix of balconies and flat and rounded awnings that “soften” the building and provide shelter, and an atrium-style stairwell at the southeastern corner.
A 5,000-square-foot community garden and 5-foot brick wall in the first option would buffer neighbors from light and noise, landscaper Richard Brown said. It preserves several trees, adding oaks and evergreens to create a compatible transition to residential areas, he said.
Options two and three upgrade the salon’s existing gravel lot as shared parking, although one plan separates it from the CVS lot and the other uses it as a second Short Street exit.
If the Center Street house isn’t developed, Polzella said CVS probably won’t renovate, sell or lease it. It might be possible to use the lot for a small park, she said.
That prompted residents to ask if CVS might try to expand the parking lot later.
Polzella did not answer directly but said excluding the house avoids rezoning it.Protest petition
CVS could ask to rezone up to six lots – a mix of business, fringe commercial, residential and downtown neighborhood protection overlay, which has height, setback and design requirements.
Neighbors filed a protest petition in March that requires three-quarters of the aldermen to approve any zoning changes. The project’s conditional-use permit only needs a majority vote.
Although scheduled for an April 17 public hearing, the developer postponed the project. A decision about how to proceed could be made in the next few weeks, Polzella said.
The store would replace a roughly 8,100-square-foot Carr Mill Mall store. Revco, a subsidiary of CVS Caremark Corp., paid roughly $1.35 million in 2010 for three Weaver Street Market properties – a Weaver Street parking lot, the former Norlina building and a Center Street house.