Mount Pleasant Town Board members expressed support last week for a new proposal from a town resident to construct a shopping center on a 5.1-acre parcel on Columbus Avenue.
GH Kerry Ltd. has appealed to the board to rezone the parcel for the proposed Columbus Plaza, a 16,750-square-foot shopping center. The property is located in an office business district (OB-1), which allows office buildings.
The proposal was unveiled on Apr. 15 by property owner Chris DeMartino and the project’s architect, Anthony Federico. The developer is seeking to rezone the land to an intermediate business district.
The center would consist of 14 units, although DeMartino and Federico indicated there could be businesses that occupy more than one unit.
DeMartino, who hopes to bring upscale establishments to the center, said he wanted the shopping center to contain businesses not found elsewhere in town. For example, he would like a non-chain food store that would sell fresh meat, seafood and produce.
Councilman Mark Rubeo suggested an upscale clothing store while Councilwoman Laurie Smalley said “there’s no place to get a nutritious hot meal for your family” anyplace in town.
Councilman Carl Fulgenzi suggested that rather than a rezone, which could be considered by some to be spot zoning, the town board instead could extend the Planned Commercial Shopping zone from the surrounding area to the parcel. Rubeo agreed with Fulgenzi on that point and added that if the zone was extended it would allow the town to keep out establishments would like to prevent from opening.
Rubeo said traffic would likely not be a problem since the area could handle the influx of cars.
”This can handle the traffic flow,” he said.
DeMartino and Federico agreed to meet with town staff to discuss the next steps in the process. The town board would ultimately have authority over any zoning changes, but the proposal would first be referred to the planning board for its comments.