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MAJOR UPGRADE for Mobil Gas Station at 6 Boston Road

Plans for renovation of Mobil Gas Station at 6 Boston Road are well underway, including the revisions following work with the town's Engineering Consultant Tim McGivern from Judith Nitsch Engineering Inc.

The building will be reduced in size, and the two service bays will no longer be used for cars, but rather to expand the retail space.

To accommodate the McGivern's concerns, Attorney Bob Collins, representing the stations owners, Alliance, told the planners that the applicant wants to replace the fence along the abutting property and to broaden the landscape strip in front of the new fence. In addition, there would be landscaping on a strip along either side of the building as well the island along Boston Road. McGivern advised the Board that the landscaping had come a long way from the first presentation

Since the last presentation, Collins advised that the designers have augmented the rain garden and fixed the drainage. He pointed out that the 'redevelopment site' will pick up a significant amount of runoff, but possibly not all of it. Requirements for a redeveloped site are different than the development of a new site.

Collins added that the lighting on the site has been subdued and the massive gooseneck lamps will be replaced. He advised that he will be asking for waivers from a traffic analysis, but that his client would put money into the town fund for the study of circulation.

In terms of parking spaces on the site, Collins said that originally there were two spaces close to the street, but the plans call for the elimination of one of those spaces.

Planner Russ Burke said he was looking for a sidewalk and commented, "If there is only one gas pump there would be more room and less pavement." The concern for including a sidewalk in the plan was echoed by member John Giger as well.

Collins stressed that the site just has no room for a sidewalk. He pointed out that as it is, there would be a one-way entrance into the pumps and a one way exit. The canopy and the pumps would remain in the same location as they are now.

Neighbor Michael Weinberg told the Board that he thought it was "a terrific plan" and counseled that if the Planners rejected the plan, the gas station would stay as it is.

Another abutter, George Bishop concurred with Weinberg, noting the considerable improvement planned for the station. He pointed out to Burke that any sidewalk would drop off very quickly and would require a wooden walkway, probably requiring fill and possibly impacting the wetlands buffer zone.

Following further discussion, the Board continued the hearing to Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m., when they would like to hear a report regarding a meeting between Collins and Fire Chief Steele McCurdy.

Groton Herald

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