Monday’s meeting of the Marion Planning Board had a short agenda, but much discussion regarding the “fender benders” and the “incoming and outgoing” of vehicles at Cumberland Farms at the corner of Route 105/Front Street and Route 6.
“We want public input on the issues at this site,” said Board member Jay Ryder, “and we are looking to the public, the users of this property, to suggest ideas on how to improve the flow and safety there. We want your input on this community issue.”
The Board will also review comment from Field Engineering, a Mattapoisett firm hired to help out on the ongoing issues at the site.
Responses to the plea can be sent to Planning Board members, which include Pat McArdle, Stephen Kokkins, Jay Ryder, Ted North, Norm Hills, and Jerry Ferrari, whose phone numbers are in the Marion League of Women’s Voters Blue Book, and to Jackie Santos, Board Secretary, at the Town House.
The Board is looking for comments and ideas on how issues can be solved. The public hearing on the issue will be held on July 1 at 7:00 pm, and the public is welcome to come and discuss the ongoing issues at the Cumberland Farms site.
Committee members discussed the troubles of entering and exiting the property, as well as the close proximity of parked cars backing out while those gassing up are entering, waiting, or departing the area.
“We need to address these issues,” Kokkins said. The other major issue, expressed by the Board, is that of paying for gas inside the store, while others are waiting to gas up. The issue was that there were not enough employees at the register, with long lines, thus prolonging the lines at the pump.
In other business, the board is also asking the Marion community to provide input and ideas on a proposed residential solar bylaw, to be negotiated and worked on by the Planning Board and the Marion Energy Management Committee.
“We want to invite the public to provide input on the yet to be determined solar bylaw, by coming to our July 1 Planning Board meeting,” Kokkins said. “We want a roundtable discussion of how the bylaw will impact abutters and the town. We want to work with the Marion Energy Committee and get this bylaw worked out by the fall town meeting.”
The fall town meeting will be held at 7:00 pm on Monday, Oct. 28.
The scheduled Continued Public Hearing regarding the Site Plan Review of the Johnson Family Investments, at 806 Mill Street c/o GAF Engineering/Anthi Frangiadis Associates was continued until June 17.
In other business, the Board discussed the ongoing SRPEDD discussions, whose goal is to engage each town that may be affected by a commuter rail in an adjacent community. In Marion’s case, New Bedford. “This is like what happened in Lakeville,” Ryder said. “We want to know what is happening locally, so we can anticipate the impact on Marion.”
Newly elected member Norm Hills discussed his meeting with SRPEDD and about the revision of the old maps and the recent re-mapping of the region, especially Marion.
“We noted that there were significant changes to reflect our protection plans [for Marion] that were not on the map,” Hills said. “The question is how would the town be impacted by a rail system in New Bedford. Look at Lakeville and the impact that had … that’s why we are being asked to look at this proposal, a link to New Bedford.” Hills noted that he lived for over 20 years in Washington, D.C., and that as soon as a new metro station was built, “the area around it bloomed.”
By Joan Hartnett-Barry