WOBURN - Attaching 20 conditions to the special permit, the City Council earlier this week sanctioned CVS Pharmacy's plan to open up a new storefront with a drive-through window in the South End by Fowle Street.
During their last regular meeting of 2019, the aldermen unanimously agreed without debate to issue a special permit to TMC New England LLC to retrofit the old Walgreen's Pharmacy building at 175 Main St. for the CVS move.
The storefront is situated on an approximate three-acre retail plaza that also includes a Busa Wine and Liquors and AutoZone outlet in an adjacent but entirely separate one-story building.
Construction will involve minor interior renovations, but along the exterior perimeter of the 15,028 square foot building, a 500-square foot building spur will be demolished in order to create a clear path around the storefront for the 12-foot wide drive-through lane.
At this week's council gathering, local attorney Joseph Tarby, representing the plaza's Indiana-based management company, acknowledged that a number of traffic and site circulation concerns were voiced by abutters and city officials during previous public hearings.
However, Tarby, after meeting with Special Permits Committee members on multiple occasions over the past three months, advised the full council that an agreement had been reached on a variety of site plan changes.
The specifics of those alterations were not outlined this week, nor did any aldermen inquire about what had been changed since the proposal was first introduced in early September. In fact, not a single question was posed to the petitioner before the council quickly and without debate approved the special permit this week.
Though the full scope of those site circulation amendments are unclear, in one major concession — based upon the Special Permit Committee's favorable recommendation — CVS officials have agreed to restrict left-hand turns out of the commercial parking lot onto Fowle Street (towards Main Street).
As part of the larger special permit request, the applicant sought relief from Woburn's loading dock regulations, as CVS will alter delivery logistics by creating a new loading door by the Fowle Street side of the building.
Under the new configuration, the drive-through would be created on the AutoZone side of the parcel, with the service window being situated near the old loading bay (which is the building spur being demolished).
The loading door would then be shifted over to the Fowle Street side of the building to an area that's roughly 20-feet away from the properly line. Area abutters and city officials were quite apprehensive about that aspect of the petition.
Specifically, critics like Ward 2 Alderman Richard Gately argued the new loading dock location is in such a narrow space, tractor-trailers would end-up blocking a portion of an exit by the adjacent Gill and Sons building at 9 Fowle St. In the future, the same rear Fowle Street curb-cut is expected to be more heavily utilized by CVS customers, including drive-through patrons who will be directed around the rear of the building.
To alleviate those worries, CVS agreed to a condition that would cap the total size of delivery trucks to 40-feet in length.
In total, the City Council attached 20 conditions to the favorable special permit decision. Some of those stipulations are as follows:
• That all deliveries shall be between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Monday to Saturday.
Deliveries on Sunday shall be between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
• Prior to the issuance of its occupancy permit, the Petitioner shall complete an upgrade of the traffic signal controller for the intersection of Main Street at Fowle/Warren Avenue/Porter Street and review existing timing for the lights for traffic optimization;
• The application will provide up to $20,000 in funding to diagnose and repair the communication issues experienced with traffic signal equipment in the area;
• That the hours of operation for the store and pharmacy shall be limited to 7:00 a.m. to
10:00 p.m. seven (7) days per week;
• The Petitioner shall redesign the Fowle Street westerly curb cut to prohibit left turn
movements exiting the site;
• The CVS delivery truck shall be limited in size to 40 feet in length;
• The existing vegetation overgrowth to the rear of the building shall be removed;
• The parking lot shall be paved, striped and maintained in perpetuity;
• All new sidewalks and curbing will be either granite or concrete.