Guido's expansion, Cumberland Farms plans advance in Pittsfield


PITTSFIELD >> Guido's Fresh Marketplace has been granted a special permit with a parking requirement waiver by the Community Development Board as part of a planned expansion of the building at 1020 South St.

A proposed new Cumberland Farms store at the current site on First Street also took another step forward with board approval this week for the site plan and a parking waiver.

Representing Guido's market, Vicki Donahue, of Cain, Hibbard & Myers, said the parking waiver was requested because city zoning would technically require 177 off-street parking spaces for the amount of planned building floor space after the addition, 22,487 square feet. Guido's now has 57 parking spaces in front of the building and another 41 spaces behind the structure near the Pittsfield Rye Bakery, secured through two long-term easements.

The addition would expand the building by 3,735 square feet, she said, but only 1,592 square feet would be additional retail space — the balance comprising warehouse and office space. A loading dock on the south side of the building also will be moved.

While the business site has had less than the amount specified in city zoning, Donahue noted that the owners have acquired a significant number of spaces behind the building, where employees most often park, and the flow of vehicles through the front lot was improved with lanes marked with arrows directing traffic.

"It seems like a very responsible plan," said board Chairwoman Sheila Irvin.

The vote to approve the permit and waiver was unanimous.

Attorney F. Sydney Smithers, also of Cain, Hibbard & Myers, represented Cumberland Farms before the board. He said the proposal calls for razing an existing building at 12 Adam St. and the adjacent Cumberland Farms store at 154 First St. and building a new store with the number of fuel pump dispensers increasing from four to eight.

The new, larger store — 4,736 square feet, compared to 1,900 square feet in the current building, a former gasoline station — would be set to the rear of the newly created 26,000-square-foot parcel, further away from First Street. The fuel dispenser stations would be located on the section facing toward First Street.

The current store and a brick former electrical supply building off Adam Street will be demolished.

Smithers said a parking waiver was requested to allow less than the 32 required number of spaces under zoning provisions for the size of the building. There will be 11 off-street spaces, plus eight at the fuel dispensers, he said, adding that Cumberland Farms has experience with other stores with a similar number of spaces.

The company believes "19 spaces will be adequate," he said, and there are additional on-street spaces nearby.

In response to concerns raised about litter around the site, Smithers said the company has approved a maintenance plan that includes additional trash barrels and regular checks of the receptacles and of litter conditions.

In answer to questions about the possible effect of lighting on neighbors from lighting from the store, which is open 24 hours, seven days a week, Smithers said all the lighting will be shielded to avoid illumination off-site and there is an option to dim the intensity.

The plan also includes "significantly enhanced landscaping," Smithers said, including a 15 percent increase in nonpaved areas that will have lawn sections and small plants. Construction will include replacement of the underground fuel storage tanks and a new stormwater system that adds a pretreatment component to treat water before it reaches the city storm drain system.

"This is going to be a great improvement for the neighborhood," board member Louis Costi said.

In addition to the board approval, which was granted unanimously, the plan has gained variance approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals to allow larger curb cuts. The City Council also is being asked to approve a special permit for the fuel service business, and a hearing on that permit was continued to Nov. 24 to await action by the Community Development Board.

Contact Jim Therrien at 413-496-6247.


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