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October 19, 2017

Town planning commission concerned about Lidl traffic

Lidl proposes to redevelop property at 394 Broadview Ave. for a 36,000-square-foot store.
All of the other grocery stores in Warrenton don’t have direct access onto a (major) corridor. I’m not crazy about that.
— Planning Commissioner Ali Zarabi
Lidl
• What: German grocery chain with 10,000 stores in 28 countries.

• Proposed site: About 4 acres at 394 Broadview Ave., Warrenton, replacing Cheswick Motel. 

• Store: 36,000 square feet. 

• Proposed: 25-foot landscape buffer along Norfolk Drive and Bear Wallow Road and sidewalk along Bear Wallow Road and Broadview Avenue, 210 shared parking spaces with McMahon’s Irish Pub.

• Applicant seeks: Town council rezoning of rear portion of site from residential to commercial use; comprehensive plan amendment.

• Proffer: Improvements to Broadview Avenue/Roebling Street intersection.

• U.S. headquarters: Arlington.

• Planned: About 100 stores in U.S. so far, along the East Coast from New Jersey to Georgia.

• Next steps: Planning commission public hearing and recommendation to town council possibly in December.

• Website: www.lidl.com

By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
Traffic, pedestrian access and intersection safety dominated the town planning commission’s discussion of a proposed Warrenton grocery store Tuesday night.

The six-member panel conducted its first work session on Lidl’s application to build a 36,000-square-foot store at 394 Broadview Ave.

The market would stand next to McMahon’s Irish Pub and Restaurant, replacing the Cheswick Motel. Most of the store traffic would use Broadview Avenue.

“All of the other grocery stores in Warrenton don’t have direct access onto a (major) corridor,” planning commission member Ali Zarabi said. “I’m not crazy about that.” Most “have offshoots with (traffic) lights and multiple access points.”

Jessica Pfeiffer, a planning consultant for Lidl, explained the market would be much smaller than the approximately 50,000-square-foot Harris Teeter store.

Lidl’s proposed grocery store would generate an additional 3,269 vehicle trips during a typical weekday, according to a traffic study Gorove/Slade Associates conducted for Lidl.

Gorove/Slade Transportation Planner Kevin Sitzman said customers would get dispersed not only onto Broadview Avenue — which averages 33,000 vehicles a day — but also through secondary roads near the entrance/exit on Bear Wallow Road.

A reconfigured median break at Roebling Street also would disperse traffic, according to Mr. Sitzman.

Those proposed intersection improvements would “result in traffic operations similar to today,” Ms. Pfeiffer said.

“What we are really looking at is the afternoon generation (of traffic), and those people are already going to be there,” Warrenton Planning Director Brandie Schaeffer said.

Planning commission member John Kip suggested installing an acceleration lane for vehicles exiting onto Broadview.

“There is virtually no break in traffic” on Broadview near the Winchester Street intersection, Mr. Kip said. “You take your life into your hands coming out” near McMahon’s. “People will back up into your store.”

Although Lidl has no plan to add an acceleration lane, it would widen the existing entrance/exit on Broadview, according to Mr. Sitzman.

To address pedestrian access, “Lidl will install full sidewalks on Bear Wallow and Broadview,” Ms. Pfeiffer said.

The company also might consider a pedestrian entrance/exit off Norfolk Drive.

Although Lidl has not decided on operating hours, it has ruled out a 24/7 store, Ms. Pfeiffer said.

Lidl plans to employ 35 to 50 at its Warrenton store.

In January, Lidl (pronounced LEE-dle) representatives held a community meeting about the proposed store. 

The company in February filed its application to build in Warrenton, where it proposes to redevelop about four acres.

The proposal shows the building standing on a grade 6 feet lower than Bear Wallow Road, with a retaining wall and 25-foot-deep landscaped buffers along residential streets. 

Lidl’s conceptual plan depicts 174 parking spaces for its store and 36 designated for McMahon’s.

More than half the property, fronting Broadview Avenue, has commercial zoning. 

To build its store, Lidl would need the town council to rezone about 1.35 acres, designated for residential use, along Norfolk Drive and Bear Wallow Road. 

The store would also need a Comprehensive Plan amendment from low-density residential to commercial. 

If approved, Lidl would compete with five other grocery stores in Warrenton.

Lidl’s application will go to the Warrenton Planning Commission for a public hearing and a recommendation — probably in December.  

The town council then will conduct another public hearing before deciding the matter.


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martinkus · October 23, 2017 at 4:28 pm
We don't need another grocery store in Warrenton!
BJ · October 20, 2017 at 1:49 pm
How many grocery stores does Warrenton need? Sears looks like it won't be around much longer, what happens when that building goes empty? Already has parking and delivery without causing more of a traffic nightmare on Broadview.
citizen observer · October 20, 2017 at 8:59 am
It doesn't matter what the Town Planning Commission thinks or how they vote. It goes to the bought and paid for Town Council no matter what their decision is. Just look at the mess approved for Walker Drive.
Observer · October 20, 2017 at 5:02 am
Put it in Plains, they could use a grocery store there.
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