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6 Takeaways from the Oct. 17 Planning Board Meeting

The Planning Board met last night with all members present

1. There were no committee reports tonight as members Jonathan Ciampa and Bob Fowler missed the most recent Elementary School Building Committee and North & Trahan Reuse Committee meetings, respectively. 

2. In her report, community/economic development planner Alexandra Lowder had multiple updates:

  • Bakery La Vita Dolce is delayed due to equipment availability. They are still working on significant buildouts, and there is no opening date yet. 
  • Italian restaurant Brelundi, which is moving in where Mirabella’s Bakery was located, has submitted a kitchen plan, and health department revisions are ongoing. The owner was having trouble getting deliverables from their architect and will be hiring a new firm.
  •  Eco Auto, moving into the old Nissan Dealership location on 623 Main St., has completed all demolition and chemical mediation. They are about three weeks ahead of schedule and plan to open in late January or early February. 
  • The Starbucks opening at 1800 Main St. just needs to complete a few interior items. The plan is to open the last week of October.
  • The Select Board has invited the Planning Board to its Nov. 15 meeting to discuss the housing production plan for 2022-2026. 
  • The Building Commissioner supports occupancy only once as-builts are accepted by the engineering and planning department, and it may become part of his occupancy process rather than the Planning Board retaining bonds. The Board decided to make a motion that implements a condition of occupancy being granted upon receipt of as-builts in addition to conditions already required. The board approved the request unanimously.

3. Univar Solutions requested permit approval for an upgraded security fence at its location at 400 Main St. About 700 feet of eight-foot high chain-link fence with one-foot of barbed wire and privacy slats will surround a 30-foot cantilever roll-up gate at the chemical products provider’s main entrance. Both will replace the existing fencing and gate. An abandoned railroad property adjacent to the Univar site was purchased by Wamesit Lanes, and the old fencing will be coming down. Univar wants to re-establish its property line due to the changes. 

Frank Colantuonio, from Tewksbury Florist and Greenery, wanted to confirm that the fence on his property will not be coming down, and Donny MacLaren from Wamesit was there to assure him they will not touch his fence. Univar needs the permit because its fence is over six feet. The board approved the request unanimously. 

4. Aram Arakelian, owner of 662 Clark Rd. unit 12, was there to discuss his special permit request, the reading of which was waived. Arakelian started by sharing that his renters violated their lease and built a mezzanine without approval. He spent $10,000 to tear it down, and the site has passed all necessary inspections. He has a potential renter who wants to use the property to store imported European countertops and ship them out to consumers. Shipments will come in once a month from overseas, and three times a week FedEx will come to deliver to a third party.

An abutter had an issue with another company on the same property being loud from 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. and says that despite complaints, the noise is still an issue. He opposed the special permit because there will be more trucks and more noise. Lowder said she would get his contact info and help him reach out to the Tewksbury Police Department to address his ongoing issues. 

Arakelian says deliveries will be between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. This language will be added to the special permit, which was approved unanimously.  

5. Ronnie’s Auto Repair at 663 Main St. sought a special permit to replace its manual readerboard sign with a 10 s.f. digital sign using the existing structure. The proposed sign, shown above, will have automatically changing messages and so needs Planning Board approval.

The shop hours are Monday-Friday 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday 8 a.m. – 3 p.m., and they may want to have the sign on a couple of hours before or after those hours. Digital signs must be off from midnight to 6 a.m. unless the business is open during those hours. The board asked the owner to add the address to the sign and keep it in good working order. The board approved the request unanimously. 

6. In new business, Bob Fowler mentioned information from Lowder about four sites of interest for marijuana dispensaries after the recent vote at Town Meeting to allow them in town. There is currently interest in 2120 Main St, 2212 Main St, 892 East St. and 2504 Main St.

Fowler believes there is already interest in additional sites. The information sessions about the potential sites were mentioned. It was also noted that there are many steps for potential dispensaries to go through before they get to the Planning Board. 

Julie Naughton
Julie Naughton

Julie likes coffee and covers education and all things concerning the Tewksbury Public Schools, along with other topics, for the Carnation. Contact her at: attn Julie N.

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