REDESIGN Dollar General, to reach the best possible design for Middletown, CA.
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The signers of this online petition contend that the Cross Development design proposal and Modification (MMU 18-01; CE 17-71) to Middletown Dollar General Use Permit and Initial Study; and Design Review Permit; UP 15-08: IS 15-10; DP 17-11 does not fit the Middletown Area Plan, its design guidelines, intent, and vision for Middletown.
While we do not want a Dollar General in Middletown, CA if Cross Development is to build here, we demand that that they truly engage in a dialogue and process with Middletown’s citizens to reach the best possible design aligned with the Middletown Area Plan (MAP). VIEW PLAN HERE
We have seen Dollar General stores in other locations that were designed specifically in conformance with that location’s aesthetic (example: Sedona, AZ). The MAP and our community deserve the same attention to detail and character as other locations, which we have requested at numerous Middletown Town Hall and other public meetings at the County level.
The Middletown Area Plan (MAP) was born out of a long process of collaboration and compromise of residents with different points of view. We believe it should be upheld until an official updated plan is written through an inclusive public process.
While the site of this project may be appropriately zoned for commercial use, new development should be compatible with the character of the community and follow design guidelines outlined in the MAP.
To date, the design as presented does not preserve the character and heritage of Middletown and Lake County communities. It does not maintain and reinforce the unique charm and village scale of Middletown and contiguous neighbors as the plan outlines. The plan calls for avoiding structures consisting largely of boxes and flat surfaces. The current design is largely a box with blank walls to the left of entrance on the southern façade sections facing our scenic highway.
There is no justification for deviation from the MAP. Especially while we continue to recover from the Valley Fire. Development should be always be thoughtful and consider the area as a whole including long-term impacts. How will we ensure that downtown Middletown has the greatest potential to thrive in the face of other developments including the Maha Project and Valley Oaks? The MAP provides design guidelines that preserve our local identity and integrity. A single development that deviates from the plan will have multiple and broad impacts.
VIEW PLAN HERE
Middletown Area Plan policies that apply to the Project:
Section 5.1 page 5-2
“Formula” or “franchise” business structures, signs and box stores within the Planning Area that detract from the small-town rural character shall be generally discouraged unless architecture and signage are made compatible with local themes.
Regarding the signage, MAP provides design guidelines applicable to commercial building signage, at pp. 7-10 through 7-16.
7. Relate sign colors to building colors
n Corporate branding colors will be considered, but will not be automatically approved if they are considered out of place with the building or the surrounding environment. The use of tone-down colors in the same hue family may be required in place of brighter standard corporate colors.
General Plan policies that apply to the Project:
Goal LU-7 (page 3-48)
“To preserve Lake County communities’ character and scale, including their design heritage and historic character.”
Policy LU-7.4 Contextual & Compatible Design (page 3-48)
“The County shall ensure that new development respects Lake County’s heritage by requiring that development respond to its context, be compatible with the traditions and character of each community, and develop in an orderly fashion which is compatible with the scale of surrounding structures.”
Objective 3.7.2f - Strip commercial development shall be discouraged because of its negative impact to scenic resources and negative economic impacts.”
The Planning Commissioners Journal / Number 53 / Winter 2004 defines The Commercial Strip: “A linear pattern of retail businesses along a major roadway, characterized by box-like buildings with prominent parking lots visible from the roadway, multiple driveways, large signs and a dependency on automobiles for access and circulation.”
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