The Aldi store on Liberty Street in Penn Yan will be growing, but in order to do so, the parking lot will become smaller. The Penn Yan Zoning Board of Appeals unanimously approved a variance allowing the store to reduce the parking lot by 13 spaces, from 83 to 70 so 19 feet can be added to the east side (front) of the store.

Steven Cleason of ADP Engineering met with the ZBA Sept. 24 and explained that the company is expanding several stores to increase the variety of items available to consumers.

In preparation for the variance request, the company conducted a parking study at 10 Aldi stores, learning that during peak hours, a store needs 65 to 66 parking spaces. The study was conducted on 10 stores, but did not include the Penn Yan store.

Cleason said the company expects the number of customers to remain consistent, but for each customer to purchase more items. He and board members commented that shoppers seem to spend less time in the store than in other markets.

There will be no modification to the area where horses are hitched, but a neighbor asked Cleason to find a way for the waste from the horses to be cleaned up consistently. He said he will bring the issue to the attention of the Aldi company, but his understanding is the waste is the responsibility of the people using the hitching area.

Although the board approved the parking variance, the board soundly denied a variance to increase the size of the signs on the storefront.

There is no plan to change the sign next to the street, but board members noted since the front of the building will be closer to the street, the existing signs, which were approved through a variance when the store was originally built, will appear bigger.

Cleason showed the board a rendering of the proposed new facade with a stepped-up tower over the entrance, which he said is an upgrade to the appearance of the store.

The Yates County Planning Board will review the parking variance at its meeting Thursday, Sept. 27.

No information on the timeline for construction was shared at the Sept. 24 meeting.