2016-05-04 / Front Page

County okays permit for Tractor Supply store here

by Kate Shunney

In a meeting that lasted only 25 minutes last Tuesday, April 26, the Morgan County Planning Commission reviewed and then approved an application from 3PP Berkeley Springs, LLC to build a Tractor Supply retail store at 3720 Valley Road, just south of Berkeley Springs.

The project will include construction of an 18,750- square-ft. retail store with a paved parking area and a 15,030-square-ft. fenced outdoor enclosure on the north side of the building.

Tractor Supply Company, headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., sells hardware, farm supplies and lawn equipment.

The commercial building permit was granted on a 5-0 vote, with board member Wayne Omps abstaining. Omps co-owns Dawson’s Home Center, which also sells hardware and tractor equipment.

Store, property plans

Developers plan to build the store on an 8.48-acre lot on the west side of U.S. 522 across from Green Gate Road. County records indicate the land is owned by Randy Waugh.

The proposed Tractor Supply store would sit roughly in the center of the development lot, which is bounded on the north by Kyne Lane and on the west by the Coolfont property. Another lot owned by Waugh sits to the south of the development property. U.S. 522 is the eastern boundary of the lot.

Based on recommendations from the West Virginia Division of Highways, developers have agreed to pay for a widening of U.S. 522 for 805 feet before and after the entrance of the store complex. They will also install a lefthand turn lane for northbound traffic on U.S. 522 to alleviate traffic hazards.

Highway entrance permits are already in hand for the project, County Planner Alma Gorse told planning commission members on Tuesday.

Water management

Wetlands and rocky outcroppings on Warm Springs Ridge are located to the rear of the planned building. The developers had to secure a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop the land, because it contains wetlands and the headwaters of Warm Springs Run.

County resident and Warm Springs Run Watershed Association member Michael Brooks asked the county’s consulting engineer if the run would be directly impacted by the development.

“Will any of the bioretention overflow go into Warm Springs Run?” he asked.

“Not directly, no,” said engineer Richard Parks, who reviews development proposals for the county’s planning board.

Parks, who is Senior Vice President of the ARRO engineering firm of Hagerstown, said the developer has agreed to install extra measures on the building site to filter stormwater runoff from the parking lot.

“They’ve gone above and beyond the requirements,” he said.

Parks said an existing 30- inch drainage pipe on the property will be dug up and replaced with a new 42-inch pipe to manage water on the store site.

Parks also noted that a light study for the site indicated any “spillover” of light from parking lot and store lights would be minimal. Plans depict a freestanding lighted sign for the store near the roadway. The bottom of the sign will be 24 feet off the ground. The sign face measures 17 feet wide by four feet tall.

A 78-space parking lot is planned on the east side of the building. Between the parking lot and U.S. 522, a large grassy area will hold a water retention basin.

The retail store will be served by public water and sewer.

Developers estimate the construction of the building will cost $1 million, and could begin in early June, with a completion date in October 2016.

Development manager David Howicz was at the planning meeting but did not speak about the project. He told The Morgan Messenger later that the timing of the start of construction would depend on how quickly the land purchase and financing are finalized.

Rob Hoskins, spokesman for the company, said Tractor Supply Company is “excited about being a new member of the Berkeley Springs business community.”

“The soft opening is tentatively set for January 7, 2017,” he said Thursday.

Hoskins and the company’s plans say 12-17 full and parttime employees will be needed to run the store, and they expect to serve 250 customers per day.

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