LENOX — A car dealership looking to relocate from Pittsfield to the bustling Lenox business district on Routes 7 and 20 received the green light this week.
The second dealer faces more scrutiny.
Berkshire Mazda, founded in 2007 at Pittsfield’s Auto Mile on Silver Lake on East Street by Jim Salby, received unanimous special permit and site plan approval from the Zoning Appeals Board Wednesday night.
The dealer buys the 17,000-square-foot property of the Knights Inn Motel at 474 Pittsfield Road and the adjacent Howard Johnson by Wyndham Inn from hotel entrepreneur Navin Shah.
The motel will be demolished, but the 44-room Howard Johnson will remain open.
The 14,500-square-foot dealership, which includes a showroom, outdoor sales and service area, is located just north of the Holmes Road intersection.
The project by 474 Pittsfield Road LLC will be an investment of at least $5 million, including land purchase and construction costs. Construction will begin this spring, and the facility will open in 2024.
McGee project site visit set
At the same meeting, hearings were held for a planned McGee Automotive Family project to move Berkshire’s BMW/VW/Audi dealerships from Merrill Road in Pittsfield to the intersection of Pittsfield Road and New Lenox Road. has been postponed. It will be built in the current Different Drummer’s Kitchen and adjacent his three facilities.
The ZBA will visit the site on January 25th at 3:00 pm for a tour, but no public discussion. The board will resume hearings on February 8 at 7:00 pm at City Hall.
A vigorous vote of at least 50 residents from two condominiums near the proposed dealer indicated potential opposition to the proposed dealer by McGee, a regional chain based in Hanover, New Hampshire. I’m sorry.
Perfect fit for Mazda lot
SK Design Group President Jim Scalise, a civil engineer, elaborated on the special permits that Mazda dealers require.
• Hours of operation are 8:00 am to 6:00 pm on weekdays and 9:00 am to 4:00 pm on Saturdays. The new car park has 113 spaces, of which 76 are for new car displays and the rest are for customers, employees and service departments.
• Facility construction is limited to 7:00 am to 3:30 pm on weekdays, with occasional interior work on Saturdays.
• Traffic studies released by Scalise show less traffic than current motels when dealerships open. On the state highway section, an average of 23,000 vehicles travel his 412 times a day.
The biggest challenge, says Scalise, is fitting it on the 1.4 acres of land available. The height of the site he lowered by 8 to 10 feet by excavating up to 50,000 cubic yards (1,350,000 square feet) of material, lowering the new building to the ground, what he called the “bathtub effect.” will be able to provide He noted the advantage of better visibility and access from Pittsfield Road (US 7 and his 20).
Subdued lighting is used by agreement with neighboring homes on Holmeswood Terrace and Holmes Road. Planting reinforces the landscaping plan. The project meets the customer’s parking, erosion control and stormwater drainage standards.
The redevelopment of the site is assisted by Police Chief Stephen O’Brien, Fire Chief Chris O’Brien, and DPW Director William Gopp.
ZBA members voted 5 to 0 in favor of the special permit and site plan. Prior to the vote, member Albert Harper said the proposal met all the requirements for a special permit.
It also reduces current use of the site from a two-star motel to a “reputable business” by enhancing fire safety and potentially reducing crime at Lenox locations that require frequent police responses. We are also responding to the needs of the community by improving the
“This is a benign change that will bring enormous benefits to the community,” Harper said, increasing the town’s tax base, creating more jobs and “beautifying the neighborhood.”
Zoning Commission Chair Robert Fuster applauded Scalise’s detailed presentation, citing crime rates in the area and suggesting that development would improve public safety.
“This is a commercial zone full of commercial projects,” said Associate Board Member Kimberly Duvall. “I don’t think it’s a problem and I think it’s good that they’re doing this.”
Public comments included a letter from Kari Nixon of New Lenox Road to ZBA citing safety concerns and threats to Lenox’s small-town atmosphere to build a new car dealership on Pittsfield Road. He objected as “unthinkable” to do so.