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Easthampton car dealer appeals Stop & Shop court ruling

GORDON DANIELS
Paul Carlson of Florence hits golf balls at the driving range in the back of the Tasty Top on Route 10, Easthampton, the proposed site of a Stop & Shop supermarket.

GORDON DANIELS Paul Carlson of Florence hits golf balls at the driving range in the back of the Tasty Top on Route 10, Easthampton, the proposed site of a Stop & Shop supermarket. Purchase photo reprints »

An appeal of the decision to allow the project has been filed in Hampshire Superior Court by the attorney for Kenneth Cernak, who owns Cernak Buick across from the proposed site of the supermarket.

Cernak sued the city Feb. 17, 2010, alleging the Planning Board’s January 2010 approval of the project was illegitimate because of communication outside of public hearings between the board and supermarket representatives, and that zoning and traffic issues from the project could affect Cernak’s business.

Since then, superior court judges Bertha Josephson and C. Jeffrey Kinder have both ruled in favor of Stop & Shop and the city on both counts. Most recently, Josephson approved Stop & Shop’s request to throw out the suit on June 19.

Northampton Attorney Mark A. Tanner filed an appeal July 16 of all the court’s decisions in the case, but did not include any grounds for the appeal.

Reached by phone Monday, Tanner said that filing the appeal was the first step, and now he is waiting for the court to assemble a transcript of the cases and other documents for his review. “Then I will designate the issues for appeal,” he said.

The supermarket chain has put off construction of the store, to be located on the 35-acre parcel that now holds Tasty Top, because of Cernak’s suit. Stop & Shop representatives have refused to comment on the project, citing company policy not to talk about a possible store.

Rebecca Everett can be reached at reverett@gazettenet.com.

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