CVS is proposing to build a new pharmacy on the site of the former Kimball’s Service Center in Ashton.
A pre-submission community meeting regarding CVS’s proposed site plan and preliminary plan will take place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Sandy Spring Museum at 17901 Bentley Road.
The proposal includes a 12,800-square foot building on the northeast corner of Ashton Road and New Hampshire Avenue, along with an improved pedestrian area, sidewalks, landscaping, and stormwater management.
In an email response to The Gazette, CVS Director of Public Relations Michael DeAngelis confirmed that the company is in the early stages of building the store, which he expects to open in mid-2016.
He said company officials have met informally with representatives from the local community to listen to their suggestions on building design and site layout.
“We look forward to continue working with the community to ensure that our new CVS/pharmacy complements the surrounding neighborhood,” DeAngelis said.
John Salzberg, president of the Sandy Spring Civic Association, has attended some of the informal meetings with CVS officials and thinks that most residents are generally supportive of the plan.
Currently, residents living in the area would have to travel to Olney to have prescriptions filled. He said he knows of residents who live at Friends House who do not have a car, but might be able to walk to Ashton.
Sandy Spring resident Joy Turner said a pharmacy was one of the suggestions in a survey conducted a few years ago, which asked area residents what types of businesses they would like to see in the community.
She said there were initial concerns about how the building would be designed, but people were pleased when they heard it could be modeled after nearby Christopher’s Hardware store, and would feature an open space in front.
“The community’s biggest concern is there are no road improvements planned,” Turner said. “When building on one corner of that intersection, all four corners have to tie in.”
A small shopping center was proposed for the southeast corner of the intersection several years ago, but the project stalled after the State Highway Administration required the developer to improve the intersection.
Turner said SHA is not requiring intersection improvements for this project, because, according to projections, the intection traffic is down 15 percent since 2008.
Turner agrees that CVS will provide goods and services not currently available to area residents.
“It’s not a perfect thing, but it’s still a good thing,” she said.
Anyone who wishes to comment on the project but can’t attend the meeting should contact attorney Stacy P. Silber of the law firm Lerch, Early & Brewer at firstname.lastname@example.org or 301-841-3833.