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Development Eyed for Beginning of Main Street

The beginning of Main Street could soon be altered once these buildings -- located in between the municipal parking lot across from Sacred Heart of Jesus Church and the entrance to the Upper Charles Trail adjacent the Dunkin Donuts at 31 Main Street – are town down to make way for future commercial development.



Six buildings at the beginning of Main St. (Route 16) may be torn down and replaced with one or two new commercial buildings. Numbered 9 through 27 Main St., the buildings are located in between the municipal parking lot – across from Sacred Heart of Jesus Church – and the entrance to the Upper Charles Trail adjacent the Dunkin Donuts at 31 Main St.

Attorney Ernest Pettinari, representing developer David Pyne, met with the Planning Board earlier this month to show conceptual drawings for the site and get the board members' guidance on whether the development was headed in the right direction. Given the site's location, "This is a very sensitive property for the Town of Milford," Pettinari said.

His client's goal is to tear down the buildings – which the lawyer described as being "in various stages of disrepair" – and then market the site to prospective companies, Pettinari said.

By converting the overall 1.3-acre site into two lots that conform to current zoning, Pyne could "turn this into something that makes really good commercial sense," Pettinari explained. He showed the board a conceptual drawing featuring two separate 4,000 square-foot buildings – each with a drive-up window and separate driveways – which he said represented the most "intense use" that could go on the two lots. "You won't see anything more intense than this," he said.

"I think it's a good idea. It's time for those buildings to come down," commented board member John Cook. He and board member Joseph Calagione voiced their concerns about potential traffic problems that more driveways on that side of the street could create. "I think we're going to make a mess on Main St.," Calagione said. Pettinari replied that when the exact development that would take place is known, the impact on traffic can then be looked at. "There's no getting away from it," he said.

Town Planner Larry Dunkin said any development on the site would require a special permit from the Planning Board for the part of the land zoned commercially, a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) for the part of the land that lies in a water resource district, and a site plan review from the Planning Board. "We don't actually know what's going to happen on the site yet," said board member Lena McCarthy.

The consensus of four of the five board members was to proceed with the concept presented. Chairman Patrick Kennelly did not take part in the discussion to avoid a conflict of interest, since he is Pyne's brother-in-law.

In other action, the Planning Board voted to:

• Give the Annual Town Meeting an unfavorable recommendation on rezoning a 10,903 square-foot parcel at the rear of 51 East Main St. (Route 16) from residential to commercial use, citing residential neighbors' complaints;

• Give the ZBA favorable recommendations on a request by Blaire House for a special permit to build a 5,184 square-foot garage and create 16 new parking spaces at 20 Claflin St.;

• Give the ZBA a favorable recommendation on a request by Planet Aid for a special permit to place donation boxes at its 47 Sumner St. facility, at 93 Prospect St. (the Shaw's plaza), at 110 South Main St. (Pinz) and at 91 Medway St. (the Kohl's plaza);

• Give the ZBA an unfavorable recommendation on a request by Emily Sobers for a special permit to have a hair salon at 29 Forest St., based on a lack of information;

• Give the ZBA a favorable recommendation on a request by CMRK, Inc. to place donation boxes at 146 South Main St. (a Route 140 gas station), at 186 Central St. (a convenience store) and at 161 East Main St. (a Route 16 auto parts store); and,

• Approved preliminary subdivision plans for a 12-lot extension to Field Pond Road, provided that the new section of road be extended completely through the site, over adjacent property, and out to Fiske Mill Road.




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