Lehigh Valley

Allentown planners sign off on new Family Dollar

Discount store is planned for South 4th Street lot

ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Allentown planning commissioners have signed off on plans for a new discount store along South Fourth Street.

Planners on Tuesday granted final land development approval for a Family Dollar Store at 1735-1745 S. Fourth St. The vacant lot next to Pizza Hut previously host fast food restaurants.

The planning commission initially reviewed the project in April, but delayed any action until the developer, Moonrise Acquisitions LLC, could revise the layout.

One of the commission’s requests during the initial review was for the developer to move the store’s garbage dumpters away from the South Fourth Street side of the building. The developer said he’d request the company install a cardboard compactor to eliminate the need for at least one of the dumpsters.

Family Dollar denied the request for a compactor, but the developer did move the dumpsters away from the front of the building.

Other minor changes include widening the main access off South Fourth Street from 22 feet to 24 feet and eliminating three parking spaces near the entrance. As part of the review for a highway occupancy permit, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation wanted the three spaces removed, according to the project engineer.

That lowers the number of proposed spaces from 27 to 24. Even before the change, the developer needed zoning relief from the parking requirement. City zoning rules dictate 36 parking spaces for an 8,320-square-foot sales floor.

The developer estimates four to five parking spots will be dedicated to store employees.

The project is scheduled to go before the city zoning board next week for the parking variance.

The project also initially needed a setback variance, but city council approved vacating an alley off South Jute Street. That gives the building another 10 feet in order to meet the 20-foot buffer requirement.

Developer Gary Winkleman said in April that construction could take five to six months once all the approvals are in hand.

The stand-alone store appears to replace a vacant Family Dollar practically across the street in the Moutainville Shopping Center. A company spokesperson did not reply to a request for comment on the status of the existing storefront.

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