By Karen Brainard
A large retail store with products to support the rural lifestyle could be coming to Ramona.
Developer Steve Powell and Architect Carole Wylie, both from Ramona, introduced conceptual plans for a Tractor Supply Company store, on behalf of their client, to the Ramona Design Review Board at its April 24 meeting. Powell said the plans will also be presented at the May 2 Ramona Community Planning Group meeting.
“This is very conceptual, very preliminary,” Powell told the design review board, as he and Wylie displayed a proposed site plan of the hobby farm store at Main and Hunter streets. Their client, Haymes Snedeker from Alabama, was also at the meeting to answer questions. Snedeker, a developer of Tractor Supply stores, said he would own the building and lease it to the company, which is headquartered in Brentwood, Tenn. This would be the first Tractor Supply Company store in San Diego County, he said.
According to Snedeker, he has developed over 40 stores for Tractor Supply.
Among the products sold in the stores are horse supplies, lawn and garden supplies, pet items, clothing and footwear, trailer parts, fencing, power tools, and lawn mowers.
Snedeker said Ramona is a great country setting for the store.
“I wouldn’t be here if the demographics didn’t support the store,” he said. “It’s nothing that competes with what’s already here; it complements it.”
Powell said he and Wylie have not formally submitted plans to the county but wanted feedback from the design review board. He said the location at Main and Hunter streets consists of four one-acre lots that are zoned C-36, and have area designators of V4 and V5 in the draft Ramona Village Center Document of form-based codes. The zoning and designators allow commercial use by right, he said.
Although the Ramona Village Center Document has not been adopted by the county yet, Powell said his client is interested in working with the design standards. Plans call for a building just under 20,000 square feet with the store entrance on Hunter Street. A Main Street facade has been designed to follow the new standards in the village design document to maintain the rural community character, said Powell.
Landscape Architect Joe Chisholm, who is working with Powell and Wylie, said they would keep all the colonnade eucalyptus trees and add landscaping that would enhance them.
Design review board members were receptive to the plans, offering suggestions on landscape buffers, signage and breaking up the 150-foot building line that would face Vermont Street. Tractor Supply Company is the largest retail farm and ranch store chain in the United States, operating over 1,197 retail stores in 45 states, according to its company profile. It was founded in 1938 by a Chicago man as a mail order tractor parts business and grew into a retail store.
The preliminary proposal is on the agenda of the Ramona Community Planning Group which meets at 7 p.m., Thursday, in the Ramona Library Community Room, 1275 Main St.