Home Advocate Residents express concerns over Hyundai project in Westborough

Residents express concerns over Hyundai project in Westborough

0
Residents filled the Planning Council meeting last week to learn more about a proposed Hyundai dealership. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

WESTBOROUGH — Residents of the Villages of Walker Meadow and other neighborhoods have raised concerns about a proposed Hyundai dealership at 180 and 182 Turnpike Road.

The plans were presented at a planning committee meeting on August 9.

Walker Meadow, which is a 55+ community, contains 50 duplex homes on 49 acres of Walker Dairy Farm.

A letter written by Board Chairman Wayne Webster was signed by 44 residents and expressed concerns on a number of issues.

“We realize the developer has the right to develop the property. But, having a business of this size as a direct scorer leaves owners with concerns that we believe can be resolved through this review process,” Webster wrote in his letter shared with the Community Advocate. .

Proposed Hyundai dealership

Automotive Management Services Inc. presented the plans to the Select Board in July.

The two properties combined would create a site of 9.34 acres.

The developers propose to demolish the existing buildings and construct a 46,843 square foot building with a two-level parking deck.

There would be a total of 435 parking spaces on the site and two entrances.

The west entrance would be closed and restricted to car transporters, employees and public safety officials. Customers would use the east entrance.

According to project engineer Randy Waterman, the Hyundai would operate daily from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Carriers would deliver the cars four times a week between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Lighting issues

Throughout the meeting, members of the Planning Board, city staff and residents asked questions about many topics, including the number of employees who would work at the facility, the location of the area buffer between dealership and homes and proximity to dumpster and gas station at Walker Meadow. .

The prospect of weekend deliveries also raises concerns.

“Quite frankly, I’m not in favor of having weekend deliveries,” said member Hazel Nourse. “I think you’re close enough to a residential area that there’s no reason they can’t be confined Monday to Friday.”

Initial plans proposed lamp posts on the upper parking deck, although Waterman noted that the posts had been moved inside the ramp leading to the deck.

“In our first working session we had with the city, we were very concerned about the lighting on the second floor upper deck,” said city planner Jim Robbins.

With the proposed building standing over 20 feet tall, Robbins said they discussed not using streetlights, but lighting recessed into the walls.

“I think you have to keep that promise. I’m going to be very strong on this. I want the lighting to be recessed into the walls,” Robbins said.

Questions about lighting – including interior lights on the second level of the structure – were also taken up by residents of Walker Meadow.

Project manager Ashley Pegram said she had conversations with a lighting representative, who was concerned the wall sconces would further disturb neighbors.

“We’re definitely open to looking at wall lights, but when I asked him about it he said people would be less happy with these than other lights that might be shielded,” said Pegram.

She added that they would be LED lights and could be dimmed.

Robbins replied that wall sconces could also be protected and he asked to hear the rep’s reasoning as to why wall sconces would be more in the way.

Meeting with local residents

Going forward, the developer plans to meet with residents of Walker Meadow as well as a member of the planning board to discuss what is proposed.

After the meeting, Webster told the Community Advocate that the meeting was interesting.

“The presentation was as complete as possible. There will be several meetings,” he said.

He praised the Planning Council’s ability to ensure that the applicant and partners get what they need.

Webster said the meeting would be held at Walker Meadow and they intended to invite nearby neighbors who live on Stagecoach Circle as well.

“We’re looking forward to this, and we believe this interactive process will help both of us,” he said.

RELATED CONTENT

Developers launch new Hyundai dealership in Westborough