Adams to again hear case for Cumberland Farms move

A proposed Cumberland Farms in Adams would sit toward the rear of Commercial Street property owned by Carol L. Ostrowski and Al's Service Center Inc.

ADAMS — Why did the gas station seek to cross the road? That's the topic again Tuesday evening, when town zoning officials continue to review a disputed plan.

The Zoning Board of Appeals will continue its review of an application filed by Cumberland Farms Inc. to move across Commercial Street south of downtown Adams.

When first heard in May, nearly two dozen residents showed up.

This week's continued deliberations start at 6 p.m. in Town Hall.

The company wants to build a new station at 95 Commercial St., the site of Al's Service Center, and a neighboring property.

The firm already operates a small store not far north at 46 Commercial St.

To cross the street and build anew, the company must win variances from the zoning panel. It needs permission for three elements in this zoning district: operating a retail convenience store with gas pumps, being open 24 hours a day and making a "curb cut" of more than 26 feet.

In interviews and social media posts, residents have expressed concerns about the project's effects on traffic and pedestrian safety.

But others have applauded the move as a way to improve the look of the road, create jobs and add to town tax revenue.

Support our journalism. Subscribe today. →

"It's a huge improvement over the mess that is there now," resident Wayne Piaggi wrote on the Adams Informed public Facebook page.

If approved, the station would extend a full block from Elm to Prospect streets, on the west side of the busy artery, also known as state Route 8.

The property is owned by Carol L. Ostrowski and Al's Service Center Inc. Both joined with Cumberland Farms in applications for the zoning approvals.

If allowed, the store would sit toward the rear of the combined property, according to plans submitted with the application. A two-story home that sits on the parcel near Prospect Street would be demolished.

Opponents of the project cite concerns about safety, because of traffic volume on Commercial Street.

But others lament the presence of old vehicles and debris on the property now.

Sandy Severin-Pansecchi, a lifelong resident of the neighborhood, posted on Adams Informed that she views the project as a "big step up."

Larry Parnass can be reached at lparnass@berkshireeagle.com, at @larryparnass on Twitter and 413-496-6214.