Mixed Use Sought For Former Mill Store Property

By: William F. Galvin

Topics: Development

The former Mill Store property at 211 Route 28 in West Harwich will go before the planning board for mixed use and site plan review permits. WILLIAM F. GALVIN PHOTO

HARWICH — The planning board will be acting on mixed use and site plan review special permits for the former Mill Store property located along Route 28 in West Harwich. The proposal calls for retail use of the existing building and the addition of a three-bay garage with an apartment above.

The applicants seeking the special permits are Ty Cronin and John Doherty, who have the property under contract to purchase from Drive O Rama, Inc. which is identified as the owner.

According to a narrative accompanying the application, the storage bays will be used to store landscaping equipment, but the landscaping business will be conducted off-premise. The retail use of the existing building, a 40-by-28-foot structure, is not stated in the application, nor does it have to be, Town Planner Charleen Greenhalgh said. That use will likely be identified during the hearing, which is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 11 at 6:30 p.m. in town hall.

The property at 211Route 28 contains 19,928 square feet in the Commercial Highway One District and is also located in the FEMA Herring River flood zone. The proposal will have to go before the conservation commission.

The proposed use will not adversely affect the neighborhood, according to the narrative. There will be no nuisance or serious hazards to vehicles and pedestrians and adequate and appropriate facilities will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use.

The commercial use of the floor area of the building will be greater than 33 percent. Greenhalgh said the garages count as commercial space and the zoning bylaw requires 33 percent of the total floor space to be dedicated to commercial use. The subject lot contains more than the 10,000 square feet that is required for the residential unit.

The applicants are also seeking administrative waivers, including drainage calculations of any and all commercial and residential requirements of the bylaws that are not applicable to the petition. Greenhalgh said the application does not go into great detail on drainage calculations, adding if it was a vacant lot she would be more concerned about a waiver. More than likely what is there now is suitable, she said.

The planning board a month ago approved a site plan use special permit on the nearly one-acre lot which had been used to store garden sheds for sale when the Mill Store was in operation. That lot, on the east side of Grey Neck Road along Route 28, is under a purchase and sales agreement to Allen Harbor Marine Service, Inc., which plans to use the site to store between 39 and 60 boats.

Greenhalgh called the proposal use on the former Mill Store location “pretty straightforward.”