Fricks Market owners were given first-round approval for their site plan that incudes two entrances and a possible three-way intersection near the future Church Street store
The Union Planning and Zoning Board Monday is recommending aldermen agree to amend city code to allow for n store entrance to be placed 105 feet from an intersection. Current code calls for a minimum of 150 feet.
Elliott Reed, with the engineering firm Cochran, presented a Fricks Market plan that included two entrances to the store lot —one located on Church Street and the other located on Central Avenue.
The Fricks owners also requested the installation of two new stop signs at the T intersection of Grandview Drive and Church Street.
Now there is a stop sign southbound on Church Street, but no stop sign eastbound on Grandview nor northbound on Church Street.
The 32,000-square-foot store will be at Church Street and Central Avenue. It will face Central Avenue.
“The existing facility has a lot of pedestrian traffic, and Fricks (owners) expects the same at this store,” said Reed,
He noted that a crosswalk would be needed on Church Street, as well as the new stop signs.
City Administrator Russell Rost said a city committee would discuss adding new stop signs, but there was no opposition from the planning board.
Alderman Bob Schmuke noted that he has requested stop signs at the same location for several years, but was told by Union Police Chief Norman Brune that it may cause crashes because motorists are not used to stopping there.
Rost added that Brune has “no issue” with the proposed stop sign because of the store relocated there.
“He (Brune) anticipates additional pedestrian and traffic at the new store,” said Rost.
Reed said that there are “conflicting car movements” at the Grandview and Church Street intersection. He explained that a vehicle could make a left turn onto Grandview while northbound on Church Street, and at the same time a vehicle that is eastbound on Grandview could make a left turn onto northbound Church Street which could cause a car crash.
Furthermore, Reed said the Fricks owners are requesting a truck entrance on Church Street, but because of the proximity of the proposed store location to the Grandview Avenue and Church Street location, the site map does not meet city code.
“The way the site lays out, it is very tight,” he said.
After some discussion, board members agreed to recommend a “three-fourths entrance” on Church Street, which would allow delivery trucks to enter from northbound and southbound Church Street, but vehicles could only exit right to northbound Church Street.
Melenbrink said aldermen would have to change the city’s code to allow the Church Street entrance at that location. He explained that others that request an entrance that close to an intersection should be given the same opportunity or the city could face a legal challenge.
Fricks Market will move from its current 21,000-square-foot building to the new location following construction.
The project will provide space for Fricks to expand, as well as to have a larger parking lot.
The new facility will have a 164-parking space lot, which is nearly double the number of spaces at the Locust Street location.
Plans began for the new Fricks location after an agreement with the Jim Trenary Automotive Group in Union.
Trenary divided its 8-plus acre property to provide a new location for Fricks Market, and built a new state-of-the-art facility at Central Avenue and Highway 47.