Plans for large self-storage project in Hadley inch forward

Hadley  04-19-2023

Hadley 04-19-2023

By Staff Report

Published: 05-14-2024 2:26 PM

HADLEY — A large self-storage project that would use about 5 of the 19 acres behind the Campus Shopping Plaza, 438-454 Russell St., continues to make its way through the town’s permitting process.

James Martin, an attorney with Pullman & Comley, LLC of Springfield, told the Planning Board at its May 7 meeting that the key to the proposal is to divide the parcel so that the self-storage units are on a separate site from the shopping center, which includes Stop & Shop, TJ Maxx, Liquors 44 and H&R Block.

Christian Brannelly, management director at Chestnut Realty Management in Boston, said the units would go in a wooded area, with the only other development there an existing cell tower. The storage units will be outside the tower’s drop zone.

The storage units and an associated office will be accessed to the east, but dividing the property will be based on using an unbuilt portion of Campus Plaza Road to the west. Planning Board Chairman James Makismoki said it’s unclear if this can be considered a road, since wetlands would block the road from continuing.

Planning Board Clerk William Dwyer said planners will need verification that Campus Plaza Road was laid out on plans so that it continued north of the parking lot and parallel to Route 116. “A paper street would support a separate lot, even though it wouldn’t provide true access,” Dwyer said. “When it was laid out, they didn’t care about wetlands, apparently.”

Signs approved

Meanwhile, planners approved the installation of several signs throughout town.

Outside the Hadley Public Library, the board permitted a sign between 6 and 9 square feet to promote a pollinator garden for the Hampden-Hampshire Conservation District at the request of Lynne Latham, who chairs the library trustees. The sign will have details about the garden and QR codes for people to access additional information.

Maksimoski said the sign has to have a wood-like appearance due to being in the historic district.

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Board member Michael Sarsynski said he has no worries about the sign. “I’m more concerned about somebody who gets bitten by a bee and has a reaction,” Sarsynski said.

Being more educational than advertising, and no commercial aspects, Dwyer said the sign is acceptable.

Scott Ferrigno from Sign Design in Brockton brought forward two sign requests, both related to the rebuilding of Route 9. At 333 Russell St., the sign for Four Seasons Liquors is moving back from the road, with a new footing and support posts and bollards on the parking lot side to protect it. The sign will remain internally illuminated.

At 285 Russell, Gardeners Supply Co. will have a new 27.5-square-foot sign with graphics matching others stores in the chain.

“This looks attractive, and it’s smaller than the existing, and it’s externally lit. That seems like a plus,” said Planning Board member Mark Dunn.

Planners also approved a new maroon canopy for Esselon Cafe at 99 Russell St., with the font for the lettering changing, but the size of the text staying the same.

The only sign the board nixed was one requested by Kestrel Land Trust for the Mount Warner Meadow: Haven for Pollinators, a site on North Maple Street across from the University of Massachusetts Horse Farm. While Kestrel had hoped to replace a temporary vinyl banner inside an existing wooden frame, Stuart Watson, stewardship manager, was advised to return with a sign a maximum of 4 square feet allowed in the agricultural. Maksimoki said the board can’t grant signs bigger than allowed by town zoning.