A marathon Marion Planning Board meeting lasting over three hours on Monday night attempted to tackle four issues, with the flow of traffic and parking issues at the Cumberland Farms located at Front Street and Route 6 first on the agenda.
Three representatives from Cumberland Farms spoke to the Planning Board at the meeting to address the issue of vehicles pulling in and out of parking spaces and between gasoline pumps at the site.
“There are major congestion and parking problems here,” said Board member Thomas Magauran.
Chairman Jay Ryder said that he is familiar with the site and sees people purchasing gasoline, leaving their vehicle at the pump, and going into the store to buy milk, bread and other groceries and then returning to their vehicle, while others are waiting to pull into the pump.
“That’s a problem and we don’t see a policy on how to manage this,” said Ryder.
Manny Paiva, Project Manager with Cumberland Farms, addressed the Board and discussed the length of the pump line, which only allows a customer to pump from one side nearest to the pump.
“If the station is grandfathered in Massachusetts, the pump line can be longer and can be used by both sides of the pump, but because this is a new facility, you can only pump from the side you pull into, unless you have a small vehicle and can drag the hose to the pump on the other side to use it,” said Paiva.
Paiva, answering a question posed by Board member Steve Kokkins, said that the gasoline pump can pump 10 gallons per minute, or that it takes two minutes to pump 20 gallons of gasoline. In discussing parking issues, it was suggested that employees park at the old Christy’s site, owned by Cumberland Farms, across the street.
Board member Patricia McArdle commented that the current site, employees included, should be considered as whole because the other site could be sold or become unavailable in the future.
Board members asked Douglas Troyer, a lawyer for Cumberland Farms, about the traffic issues. In turn, Troyer asked the Board if they would consider the option of having the store and gas station open on a 24/7 basis so that the tanker delivering gasoline and other vendors delivering goods could do so during the hours between 3:00 and 6:00 am.
“That would help with the traffic issues during delivery times,” said Troyer.
When asked if the old Christy’s site would become another Cumberland Farms site, Troyer told the Board that there were no plans currently to open a gas and convenience store at the site. The Board agreed to use the town engineering firm of Field Engineering to help find a solution to the parking and congestion issues.
Chairman Ryder commented that there were no 24/7 commercial operations in Marion and that the Board had no intention of agreeing to that solution for Cumberland Farms’ parking issues. The Board rejected the idea of a 24/7 opening at the site.
Next on the agenda was a public hearing regarding the application by Jonathan and Amy DiVincenzo for a special permit to build a pier off of 370 Delano Road. Dave Davignon represented the applicants. Several abutters attended the meeting and spoke in both concern for and support of the project.
The DiVincenzos applied to build a 4-foot wide, 163-foot long pier from their lawn into Marion Harbor. The pier will be built on pilings by a crane on a barge at high tide. The abutters with moorings were concerned about whether the DiVencenzos would accommodate the moving or relocating of moorings during construction due to the crane obstructing their access. The applicant agreed to the terms.
In other business, Tabor Academy representatives presented plans to build an addition to the Stone Gymnasium on Spring Street to create an indoor rowing facility with a rowing pool that allows eight rowers to practice rowing indoors during bad weather.
The addition will be on the north side of the gym and create an additional 2,500 to 2,800 square footage.
“We attached it to the gym so that no additional bathrooms or other requirements would be needed,” said Will Saltonstall, the project’s architect. The Board agreed to send the proposal to the town engineer for review.
Last, but not least, the Board heard from the Marion Sustainable Energy Committee which came to present the details of a proposed solar bylaw. After a well-presented PowerPoint slideshow, the Committee addressed questions posed by the Planning Board. After much discussion, the Committee agreed to take their efforts via a signature effort to be on the ballot at the May Town Meeting.
By Joan Hartnett-Barry