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Discount Department Store Developer Requests Fee Waiver
riverbank fountain

A company proposing to develop a discount department store in Riverbank appeared before the city council on Tuesday, Feb. 12, asking to have storm drain fees waived.

The company is planning to build a Dollar General store at 5842 Roselle. It’s currently an empty lot, but is bordered by houses on both sides. The property is south of Morrill Road, and backs on industrial properties that face the railroad yard.

When asked about a change in zoning to allow the commercial use, Donna Kenney, Riverbank Planning and Building Manager, said the property is already zoned for commercial/industrial use. She pointed out all the property on the east side of Roselle, from Monschein Industries, at the corner with Patterson Road, and south past this potential site, are all zoned for commercial use. She said the houses that are there are currently “pre-existing, non-conforming uses.”

Ultimately, that means that any homes on that side of the street could be removed and commercial construction replaced in the area, if a new owner wished.

There are Dollar General stores in both Oakdale and Escalon, while there are three sites spread out over Modesto.

The developer, David Church, of NNN Retail Development, was asking the council to waive $37,259.95 in Storm Drain Fees, part of the System Development Fees required of new businesses being built, when they receive their permits. The total estimated fees would be $128,583 when all items are totaled.

He explained that he plans to build an “on-site” detention basin, at the rear of their lot, eliminating the need for the fee. He said he could put the savings towards construction of underground of utilities, which would connect across Roselle Avenue, an expensive proposition in itself, but required by city ordinances.

During council’s discussion, Mayor Richard O’Brien pointed out that the state is requiring new development to pay for its impact in storm runoff into local rivers and creeks.

O’Brien noted that, if the city didn’t collect the fees it has established to pay for the problem, when the state invoked its plan, it wouldn’t have money to make the payments, if the council waived all these fees.

As a compromise, the council voted unanimously to split the fee, waiving 50 percent of the cost. They agreed to charge just $18,630, for a total SDF of nearly $110,000, and an additional $6,000 in Building Permit Fees