Amended site plan for dealership needs more work


PROSPECT — An attorney representing the owner of Route 69 Auto Sales last week withdrew an application to amend the site plan for the car dealership in order to develop a proposal that meets regulations.

Route 69 Auto Sales at 69 Waterbury Road has been the subject of ongoing safety complaints due to the number of cars at the dealership. The dealership is permitted to have 35 cars for sale on the site under a previously-approved permit, but there are three to four times as many cars on the lot. Two other businesses, which no longer exist, previously operated on the 0.68-acre lot.

In September, attorney Alec Rimer, who represents Route 69 Auto Sales owner Michael Luisi, presented an amended site plan to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Rimer came back before the commission on Nov. 7 with further adjustments to the plan.

The plan showed spaces for 107 cars on the lot, including parking for employees and customers, and the entrances and exits would be changed to make them one way in and one way out. The plan also allows for a 15-foot wide access way for emergency vehicles, something that had been lacking and a major concern for officials. Rimer told the commission there is now access for emergency vehicles on the lot.

“I think we’ve adequately provided for the safety that the town is requesting. I think it’s appropriate,” Rimer told the commission.

Rimer said the dealership also plans to apply to the state to lease the state right of way for cars. He said he is waiting for the town’s approval before applying to lease the land.

Commission members were wary about the number of cars proposed in the plan.

“As what point is the primary use (of the land) storage versus sales,” Chair E. Gil Graveline said.

Rimer said the use is to sell cars, but the dealership’s inventory isn’t like other businesses where it can be stored on shelves.

Land Use Inspector Mary Barton said the proposed amended site plan doesn’t meet all the zoning requirements. Among the items it doesn’t address is a landscape buffer needed along the boundaries of abutting properties, she said.

“My recommendations would be just follow the code,” Graveline told Rimer.

The commission had until Nov. 22 to make a decision on the application but isn’t scheduled to meet again this month. Rimer agreed to withdraw the application, and a different application for a change of use to store cars at 110 Waterbury Road, in order to revise the plan to meet the commission’s recommendations, granted that the town doesn’t charge his client the application fees again when he reapplies.

“I think we all feel that will be appropriate,” Graveline said.