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January 22. 2014 9:32PM

Rindge Walmart wants variance from ZBA

RINDGE — Walmart plans to come before the Zoning Board of Adjustment Tuesday to seek a variance from the sign ordinance for its recently approved expansion.

Walmart is asking to increase the size of the main building sign and to continue to internally illuminate that sign. Walmart is also asking for two additional exterior signs that are more than 16 square feet, the maximum allowed by the town sign ordinance, one of which is required by the new federal Affordable Care Act.

Zoning Board member Joseph Hill said the Affordable Care Act requires the “pharmacy” sign to be larger than the town sign ordinance allows.

The multi-million dollar expansion of the Walmart on Route 202 was approved by the planning Board earlier this month.

The project aims to convert the 20-year-old Walmart into a Super Walmart that would include the addition of a grocery section.

The proposed expansion would add 42,000 square feet to the existing 76,148 square-foot Walmart that sits on 17 acres on Route 202, for a total of 118,000 square feet in total, according to Rindge Planning Director Mark Smith.

The expansion and preliminary designs were first proposed to the Planning Board in 2011.

At that time the Planning Board denied a waiver when no plan for the septic system was submitted.Planners said they were concerned about the soil and water flow based on the proposed location of a waste water treatment plant to serve the larger building, without a detailed plan for the proposed waste water treatment plant which is required by the town.

Walmart officials returned to the Planning Board in August and spent months hashing out septic and wetlands issues.

The town located on the Massachusetts border already has a Market Basket and Hannaford supermarket on Route 202.

mpierce@newstote.com



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