‘Big box’ bylaw takes effect today

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BENNINGTON, Vt. (AP) – The town’s bylaw governing big-box retailers goes into effect today and planning leaders will begin formal discussions two weeks later about a proposal to double the size of the Wal-Mart in town.

The bylaw, which won Select Board approval Aug. 1, requires developers to pay for impact studies for projects 50,000 square feet or larger. But it doesn’t impose a size cap of the sort the voters defeated in April.

The Development Review Board is poised to meet Sept. 6 to discuss Ohio developer Jonathan Levy’s proposal to raze an existing 50,000-square-foot Wal-Mart and replace it with a 112,000-square-foot store on Northside Drive.

The proposal includes construction of a separate 10,000-square-foot retail building.

in the same location that would house businesses within the existing plaza, including a pizza shop and Bennington Pool and Spa.

Immediately after the Select Board’s unanimous decision to adopt the bylaw, resident Michael Bethel pledged to circulate a petition seeking to repeal it.

But he didn’t end up following through during the 21-day appeal period and Town Clerk Timothy Corcoran said Friday that no one else had filed a petition either.

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