County hashes out plans for Lidl supermarket proposed for Lightfoot

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Artistic rendering of the Lidl supermarket proposed for Lightfoot. (Courtesy James City County)
Artistic rendering of the Lidl supermarket proposed for Lightfoot. (Courtesy James City County)

While nothing is set in stone, a new supermarket proposed for the Lightfoot area of James City County just got one step closer toward development. 

A proposal for a Lidl supermarket on Richmond Road was reviewed by James City County’s Development Review Committee Wednesday before heading to the county’s Planning Commission.

Applicant Jimmy Yee of Kimley Horn, the consulting firm representing the German grocer, discussed the application with the committee and addressed their concerns about the proposed development. Some of the concerns included the store’s proximity to a nearby residential area, the desire to maintain woodland along the corridor and potential congestion caused by increased traffic. 

“We do hear from the community about those darn stop lights that keep popping up on Richmond Road,” said Committee Chair Danny Schmidt. 

The conceptual plan indicates the Lidl would be constructed on land currently occupied by the Smith Memorial Baptist Church across from the Gallery Shops on Richmond Road in Lightfoot. The proposed store will be nearly 36,000 square feet if approved. A residential neighborhood is located behind the proposed supermarket.

Delivery trucks plan to drop off goods at a loading bay at the back on the building. Schmidt pointed out that deliveries could potentially disturb neighbors.

Yee responded by saying the land behind the Lidl is heavily wooded, and Kimley Horn would be willing to add to the current landscaping. He added that a wall to screen sounds and views of the loading bay could be considered.

Landscaping along the front of the building was also a concern for Schmidt, as well as committee members John Wright and Rich Krapf. Yee said that future designs could incorporate fewer parking spaces and more green space to protect the view of motorists.

Committee member Tim O’Connor was not present, but Krapf said that he and O’Connor would both like to see a traffic study conducted before moving forward with the county’s permit process. 

The parcel of land would not have to be rezoned in order for Lidl to operate, according to meeting documents. However, Lidl would need to be awarded a Special Use Permit from the county to operate a store on the property.

Kimley Horn plans to submit a revised proposal for the committee’s May 24 meeting to reflect the committee’s concerns.Kimley Horn would then take its proposal before the county’s Planning Commission in early July, before seeking a final verdict from the Board of Supervisors at a later date.

“Today’s meeting was a big step for us in getting closer to a layout that everybody will like,” Yee said.