Hadley planners approves electric vehicle charging stations

  • Hadley Town Hall GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 6/2/2021 12:15:02 PM

HADLEY — A company that installs charging stations for electric vehicles nationwide intends to put one in the Stop & Shop parking lot at Campus Plaza.

The Planning Board on Tuesday waived site plan review for the twin charging station that will be placed at the 440 Russell St. site by EVgo, a company headquartered in Los Angeles that works with both developers and municipal governments.

“This would be for any type of electric vehicle to come in, park and charge their vehicle while they go and do their shopping,” said Gregory Brenner, managing principal of WB Engineers and Consultants of Washington, D.C.

Brenner said EVgo’s charging station, part of a national rollout, will not take away any parking spaces at the shopping plaza.

Those who need to use the charging stations will be made aware of their presence at the site through EVgo’s website and a smartphone app, meaning that no signs will be installed along the road.

Planning Board Chairman James Maksimoski said the benign nature of the project allowed the board to give it permission for the installation, pending permits from the building commissioner.

Other projects

In other matters, the board delayed approval until at least July 6 for the addition of an outdoor area for the Pet Hotel Hadley at 155 Russell St.

An existing concrete slab would be surrounded with a chainlink fence to create a place for dogs to get fresh air, said Jeff Squire, a consultant with the Berkshire Design Group of Northampton.

“The plan is to enclose that portion of the slab on the back,” Squire said.

The hotel employees would bring dogs to this area from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with a maximum of six dogs at any time, Squire said.

But Planning Board member Mark Dunn said the dog barking could be a problem for neighbors, who might be accustomed to the loud truck and car traffic on Route 9 but not the constant barking. “I’m hesitant to not give the neighbors a voice in this,” Dunn said.

When the hotel plan was first approved in 2012, board member Joseph Zgrodnik said there was concern about how to reduce noise from the dogs, with the owners promising that walls would be thick enough to reduce the barking sounds.

The board also informed Squire that a plan will be needed for the waste produced by dogs while outside.

In addition to approving the EVgo charging station, the board also gave the go-ahead for an ice cream and bubble tea business called Little Heaven to install a sign at 229 Russell St., most recently used as Hadley Scoops.

The business will have a drive-through window and will also set up chairs and tables on the front lawn for customers.

Scott Merzbach can be reached at smerzbach@gazettenet.com.

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