Hearing scheduled for parking lot for Hadley car dealer

Staff Writer
Thursday, December 28, 2017

HADLEY — A hearing on site plans to create a commercial parking lot to store overflow vehicles for an existing car dealership will likely be scheduled for February.

Joe Clark, general manager for Steve Lewis Subaru, told the Planning Board Dec. 19 that he will be submitting plans so that the dealership can continue to use a parking area in front of Pulse Cafe, at the former Long Hollow Bison Farm.

Planning Board Clerk William Dwyer said a free-standing commercial parking lot is allowed under town zoning.

While the dealership is in compliance with permitting on its own property at 315 Russell St., its continued use of 272 Russell St. has raised concerns for the Select Board and Building Commissioner Timothy Neyhart. The dealership was supposed to only use the off-site storage area for about 40 vehicles through April 15.

Dwyer said how the board approaches its decision remains to be determined. Some members, he said, may ask that vehicles be parked back father from the road or have them shielded in some fashion from passing motorists.

It’s important that the project not appear to violate town zoning that prohibits two Class 1 dealerrships being located within 2 ½ miles of each other, a rule that keeps Route 9 from becoming similar to King Street in Northampton, Dwyer said.

“We don’t want it to look like there are two dealerships,” Dwyer said.

Scott Merzbach can be erached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.