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Home Depot officials are praising the Town of Ellicott's professionalism as the process of building a new store in the Wegmans-Kmart Plaza in West Ellicott has taken another step forward.

Randy Woodbury, town housing inspector and code enforcement officer, said Tuesday that representatives for the home improvement chain "have expressed their appreciation to the town . . . at every level."

The Zoning Board of Appeals on Monday night approved a variance, allowing the proposed store to abut the Wegmans building. Woodbury said the next step takes place two weeks from today when the planning board begins its site plan review.

"More details (are expected) on the size of the building, the type of construction, parking, lighting and driveways. All of those things have to be fleshed out at a meeting like that," Woodbury said.

A representative of Home Depot said preliminary plans called for a "prototype store" at the proposed site near the intersection of Fairmount Avenue and Southwestern Drive in West Ellicott. That building would be about 137,000 square feet.

Woodbury noted that once Home Depot has gone to the Planning Board, the project architects would then have to finalize their plans in order to receive a building permit.

According to the chain's representatives, he said, they hope to complete the project by the end of the year.

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