Monday night’s public meeting of the Marion Planning Board was going nowhere fast after the Department of Public Works requested another continuance on the “Hybrid-Y” public hearing.
But, with Public Outreach on the August 15 agenda, Chris Collings was able to switch out his Planning Board member’s hat for a concerned citizen’s hat and sought some answers for his River Road neighbors regarding the construction taking place at the corner of River Road and Route 6.
Last Collings knew, the owner of the former Gilda’s Stone Rooster at 27 Wareham Road had gone back to the drawing board in an effort to present a revised parking plan for renovation of the eating-and-drinking establishment. That was several months ago.
Now he says he doesn’t know what to tell River Road residents asking him what’s going on there. “It seems like the cart is before the horse with so much work taking place,” said Collings. “I’m disappointed we don’t know more, and people are knocking on my door asking questions.”
Planning Board member Jon Henry concurred with the optics of the situation in full view of Route 6 commuters. “We’re a long way into the project without (information),” he said.
According to Town Planner Doug Guey-Lee, bar owners John Mello and Joe Sauro were scheduled to meet on Wednesday with town officials. “Really it’s for the building commissioner (Bob Grillo) to administer those rules. … I don’t think the owners have misguided us in any way; they’re fully aware … They’re doing it at their own peril.”
Planning Board Chairman Norm Hills agreed with Guey-Lee, saying that Collings’ concern sounds like a question for the Building Department.
Collings said he’s fine if it’s a repair issue that came up, but “it just looks like an awful lot of work … Now they’ve got a new foundation, they’re a little bit into it.”
Any business on the site cannot open without going through a full vetting and permitting process.
The continued public hearing regarding changes to the Subdivision Rules and Regulations with respect to the use of the Hybrid-Y in place of the Hammerhead under Section 300-2.1 through 300-6.1 of the Rules and Regulations has been continued to September 6 at 7:00 pm.
The matter is part of a much larger set of revisions that were poured over by Hills, the DPW, Town Administrator Jay McGrail and select other stakeholders. None of those revisions can be approved apart from a decision on the Hybrid-Y, but some Planning Board members are not persuaded and have said they see no reason why such a widely approved design as the hammerhead should be written out of the town’s Rules and Regulations.
Earlier this year, Fieldstone Lane residents launched a campaign to get their subdivision road accepted as town property so it would fall under town management including the plowing of snow. Citing the hammerhead design and a dangerous slope at the end of the road, the DPW recommended against making Fieldstone Lane a town road. The measure failed at Town Meeting.
The Marion Planning Board will reconvene on the night after Labor Day, Tuesday, September 6, at 7:00 pm in the Police Station conference room with a remote-access option.
Marion Planning Board
By Mick Colageo