Planning Board moves projects forward
Marlborough – Marlborough's Planning Board met July 14 and considered over a half-dozen projects, moving many along the path toward completion.
Among them is an application to create a new zoning overlay district on the eastern side of Marlborough. The new district, at 890 Boston Post Road East, would allow a Nissan dealership to move from its current location on Maple Street, board members said. The new site would cover six acres, and include 330 feet of road frontage.
But the proposed change raised some concerns.
"What happens to the current Nissan dealership?" Planning Board Chair Barbara Fenby asked. "Does that de facto become a used car dealership?"
Members also said they would not want the move to impact the other dealers on Maple Street.
"What do we do to the automotive businesses there if we drop an overlay district on the other end of town?" member Steve Kerrigan asked.
Members noted the Nissan dealership had outgrown its current location. Board member Clyde Johnson said he supported allowing the business to move and expand.
Other board members raised general objections to the way the overlay district proposal is handled. The City Council has held a contentious public hearing on the matter, members noted. But the use of single projects to create new zoning areas on a small scale seems to run counter to the spirit of having a Planning Board and zoning rules in the first place, Philip Hodge said.
"I generally don't like the technique of writing these things so they amount to spot zoning," Hodge said. "Apparently that's the way the council likes things."
The Planning Board voted, 5-2, to approve the proposal. The vote serves as an advisory to the City Council when considering the proposal, rather than a binding action.
"They can take our advice and ignore it," Kerrigan said. "They can take our advice and enact it."
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