Improper notice cancels dollar store meeting in South Deerfield

  • Developers Austin Turner and Patrick Netreba present on their Dollar General store plans to the Deerfield Planning Board. Recorder Staff/Joshua Solomon

  • Deerfield Town Counsel Lisa Mead explains to the Planning Board proper notice was likely not sent out to the abutters of the proposed Dollar General store. Recorder Staff/Joshua Solomon—

  • The developers, Austin Turner, a senior project manager for Bohler Engineering, a company based out of Southborough, and Patrick Netreba, of Lisciotti Development’s South Deerfield DG, LLC, present on their Dollar General store plans to the Deerfield Planning Board – in front of close to hundred residents. Recorder Staff/Joshua Solomon—

  • Schematics of the proposed Dollar General on Mill Village Road in Deerfield presented at a public hearing Monday. Recorder Staff/Joshua Solomon—

For the Gazette
Published: 6/6/2018 7:12:29 PM

SOUTH DEERFIELD — After it became evident that several of the mailings to abutters were sent with nothing inside of them, the nearly 90 residents, many of whom came to question the proposed Dollar General, left Monday’s public hearing before the Planning Board with little to no resolution.

More than 30 minutes into the hearing, the Planning Board called off its hearing because of a lack of proper notice to those living nearby the planned site.

Instead, the Planning Board will continue the public hearing on Dollar General at its July 2 meeting. Some residents objected to this date given how close it is to the July Fourth holiday.

Chairman John Waite said it was best to meet at its scheduled time next month, when its members could all show up. He urged residents who can’t make it to submit their thoughts in writing.

“It’s summer, so we’ll always miss somebody,” Waite said.

The decision followed a presentation from the developers, led by landowner Gregory Gardner, who hope to put the discount store along routes 5 and 10 — at the Mill Village Road site of a recent tree clearing.

There has long been talk that the site was planned to be sold to Dollar General, a discount store that some residents have expressed could harm the character of the town based on both its outward appearance and the type of people who might show up to shop at the store.

“The name is a bit unfortunate … The product is more what you would envision at a pharmacy, like a Walgreens,” said Austin Turner, a senior project manager for Bohler Engineering, a company based out of Southborough, while presenting to the Planning Board.

As Turner explained, the Dollar General planned for this site is not a typical dollar store, an audible “no, no, no,” elevated from the near hundred people in attendance, implying the engineer might have been stretching what they see as the truth.

Delaying the meeting means Turner and the developer and future owner of the land, Patrick Netreba, of Lisciotti Development’s South Deerfield DG, LLC, will have to come back next month.

“If there’s any question about something not being noticed properly,” Turner said. “We can continue this discussion. We’re happy to do that.”

Missing from the meeting was Gardner, who has taken heat from residents on social media about this proposed site and the tree clearing, which the Massachusetts Department of Transportation confirmed was not legal despite the land owner’s claims otherwise.

Turner and Netreba repeatedly expressed to the town the lengths to which they have gone to get their renderings for the site. They said they have met with neighbors already and some of their plans have been influenced by conversations with abutters, like an 8-foot and not 6-foot wooden fence.

“Just a little context on how we got here: It’s not instant coffee by any means,” Turner said, noting the year-plus of time they have put into the project.

Waite said the Planning Board will likely need, as they typically do with big projects, to bring in an engineer to assess the plans presented to them, evaluate the influence on traffic and conduct a stormwater analysis.


Jobs



Support Local Journalism


Subscribe to the Daily Hampshire Gazette, your leading source for news in the Pioneer Valley.


Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061
413-584-5000

 

Copyright © 2021 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy