Site plan review postponed for Dunkin' Donuts at Pittsfield Plunkett School site


PITTSFIELD -- Developers of a proposed new Dunkin' Donuts restaurant at the site of the former Plunkett School asked the Community Development Board for more time to prepare traffic data for site plan review purposes.

The board on Tuesday voted to continue a hearing on a drive-thru service operation for the restaurant until its April 2 meeting. A recommendation to the City Council is expected after the plan review, and approval by a supermajority of councilors -- at least 8 of 11 votes -- is required for approval of a drive-thru.

Attorney Thomas Hamel, representing the developer, Cafua Management Co. of North Andover, said he and James M. Scalise of SK Design Group of Pittsfield were ready to give a formal presentation of the project during the meeting, if the board chose.

However, he said additional traffic information would be available to the developers soon, and he requested a postponement until next month.

Traffic along First Street has been an issue with the current Dunkin' Donuts site, owned by Cafua, and some officials have expressed concern about another drive-thru being approved at the rear of the 0.84-acre school parcel, off the Fenn Street side.

The school would be razed to make way for the restaurant.

In addition, there have been efforts to find a buyer for the 103-year-old Plunkett School for a reuse project, but the costs are thought to be prohibitive for most developers.

Also Tuesday, the Community Development Board approved adding zoning amendment language that would include "home cooking" and "baking" under uses permitted as home occupations.

At the request of board member David Hathaway, the board removed "preserving" from the amendment over concerns expressed about that aspect of the wording by the city building inspection department.

Home-cooking occupations had been allowed prior to 1982, but that language was removed during a revision of the bylaw.

The issue now goes back to the City Council.

The Community Development Board also approved a city water department storage tank for Benedict Road at the site of a former tank removed in 2008.

To reach Jim Therrien:
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On Twitter: @BE_therrien


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