CHESHIRE -- A Tennessee realty company is looking into building a Dollar General on the corner of Route 8 and West Mountain Road.
The builder, GBT Realty, would not need Zoning or Planning Board approval to obtain a permit because the lot is already commercially zoned, according to town officials.
"I see no stumbling blocks to it," Planning Board Chair Charles Howard said Wednesday.
Bob Gage, vice president of development services at GBT Realty, confirmed Thursday his company is exploring the possibility of building in Cheshire.
"We're just in the very preliminary stages," Gage said. Details of the early plans have not been made public.
Gage said that GBT has not purchased the lot as of this time, nor has it officially submitted an application for a building permit.
The property is currently home to a vacant historical home built in 1796, which Dollar General would level to create its new store.
The owner of the lot, Peter Krutiak, declined to comment publicly on whether he planned to sell the building to Dollar General, but noted that it had been "on and off the market for six years."
"I devoted my life to it," Krutiak said of the building, which was formerly his home. "That was my baby."
Howard said that he had, by coincidence, run into Building Inspector Gerald Garner while he was discussing plans for a Dollar General with Gage.
"They've inquired on what they would need" to build in Cheshire, Howard said.
Howard said that Gage did have a "very preliminary" drawing of the hypothetical Dollar General.
The town's bylaws currently allow a retail store such as Dollar General to move into a commercial zone with little board oversight, according to Howard.
"If the neighbors or people of Cheshire get up in arms about having a Dollar General ... oh well," Howard said. "I go by bylaws."
The planning board would most likely only oversee the store's signage, but Howard did say he made some suggestions to Gage.
"My big concern is that the property that they're looking at is accessed from Route 8," Howard said.
Howard said he suggested to Gage that there be an access point from West Mountain Road, and that the front of the store face in that direction.
To adjust the frontage of the property could result in an address change, issued by the board of assessors. A change in address is assigned, and the builders would not need to go before the board for approval, according to Board of Assessors Clerk Robin Wadsworth.
Gage said that the retailer chooses the location of the store.
"There's not much we can truly say about it," Howard said.
Cheshire has a historic preservation law that requires any building deemed historic either be rebuilt in accordance with historical standards or destroyed.
"Cheshire basically handcuffed themselves," Howard said.
The Cheshire Inn -- also owned by Krutiak -- was demolished earlier this year. It was estimated that repairing the 1795 Inn in accordance with preservation laws would have cost over $1 million.
Krutiak was sued in 2007 when he backed out of a contract to sell the Inn. He said he broke the agreement because of negative feedback from town residents.
Krutiak lost the suit, and said he was forced to leave the house on the corner of West Mountain Road and Route 8 due to the resulting financial burden.
Howard suggested that the builder hold an informational hearing for the public in the coming weeks.
At this time, no such meeting has been scheduled.
To reach Adam Shanks,