Planners approve new pharmacy on Lowell Road

HUDSON – Citizens Bank on Lowell Road will have a new look in the near future.

The Planning Board on Wednesday approved several changes to the building, including adding a Brooks Pharmacy.

Although another business is going in at 71 Lowell Road, the size of the building is decreasing by about 2,235 square feet.

Under the plan, the bank will be located on the north side of the building facing Lowell Road. There will still be drive-through windows at the bank.

The pharmacy will be about 12,178 square feet and the bank will occupy 6,888 square feet. The Hudson Chamber of Commerce, which is a guest of the bank, will remain there, according to Stephen Cohen, the property owner.

Additional parking spaces will be created by removing part of the building’s front, Cohen said. Construction will begin sometime this spring, he said.

There will also be some changes to the Lowell Road exits and entrances. The northern-most driveway will become a one-way entrance to the bank and the southern-most driveway will become a right-hand only exit. The bank is also linked with the neighboring property, which is home to T-Bones Restaurant and a Subway.

One sticking point for Planning Board members was whether the owner should pay cap fees for the project. Cap fees are linked to a project’s impact on major roadways in town, such as Route 102.

The calculations done by Town Planner John Cashell showed the owner having to pay $7,596 in cap fees. The applicant’s engineer, however, argued that the owner should be given a cap fee credit or not pay any cap fees.

Some Planning Board members thought the fees were needed, arguing that adding a pharmacy would increase the property’s impact on the roadway. Others disagreed, pointing out that the building would be smaller. The board voted to have the applicant pay the cap fees.

Although his engineer had different calculations, Cohen said, he would agree to the fees in order to keep the project moving ahead.

“I don’t want it to be the cause for a deferral for another month,” he said.