October 1, 2022

Olympia Travel

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Chicopee City Council rejects licenses needed by Pilot Travel to open Burnett Road truck stop

CHICOPEE — The City Council turned down a proposal from a Tennessee-dependent enterprise that wants to build a 2nd truck stop on Burnett Road, citing worries about enhanced car crashes, site visitors backups and overall community security.

The council voted 10- with two abstentions on Thursday night to deny the two a service station license and a gasoline storage license for 6 earlier mentioned-floor and underground tanks for the proposed Pilot Journey Center at 357 Burnett Highway. The much more than 100 opponents who attended the conference applauded and some gave a standing ovation right after the vote.

The corporation was hoping to construct a 11,421 sq.-foot vacation center that contains a 16-pump fuel station for autos, a 7-place refueling region for tractor-trailer trucks, a Wendy’s cafe and other amenities this sort of as a ease retail store and showers for truckers.

The controversial proposal has been winding its way via community meetings for at the very least 6 months drawing a substantial group of protesters at each meeting. Opponents went as far as to seek the services of attorney Seth Wilson, who mentioned he signifies extra than 300 residents.

The house, located near the intersection of the Massachusetts Turnpike and Route 291, is zoned small business and industrial and was currently permitted for a multi-use undertaking that included a resort, gas station and a number of eating places. Traders backed out of the task when the COVID-19 pandemic strike and Pilot Journey stepped in.

The Preparing Board, which had no capacity to cease the venture since the land is appropriately zoned and the use is permitted by proper, authorised the website plan in Could.

Town Council attorney Daniel Garvey told members they experienced the discretion to approve or deny the licenses in accordance to town ordinance.

But one particular of the attorneys for Pilot Vacation disagreed. The day ahead of the meeting, the enterprise despatched just about every councilor an about 1,000-page binder about the proposal that provided arguments of why they felt the licenses were a use by ideal.

“You cannot grant a use and then get away the means to use it by rejecting a properly submitted license software,” stated Louis Ciavarra, a lawyer for Bowditch and Dewey of Worcester. “I would urge you as associates to seem at the proof, to search at the points, to listen to your lawful counsel… The simple fact of the issue is it is a authorized difficulty, not a political a single.”

At the very least a dozen neighbors and their law firm spoke from the proposal. They recurring previous issues about extra truck targeted visitors developing a nightmare in an by now congested spot and questioned the validity of the targeted visitors review which is primarily based on the unique one carried out for the preceding challenge.

Along with the improved website traffic, resident David Amo stated the enhanced truck exhaust will lead to the area’s already superior asthma fee. He also introduced up previous fraud and environmental violations Pilot has faced.

“Pilot we don’t want you, we really don’t require you. Go back again to where you are from,” he explained.

Retired Law enforcement Main William R. Jebb also spoke against the proposal expressing there will be additional crashes in an presently problematic spot and added the metropolis above the many years presently has experienced a number of complications with the current Delight Truck halt.

“This is a dilemma. This is a general public basic safety problem,” he stated. “When you combine that truck quit up there with a latest truck quit which has established a whole lot of challenges for us over the decades – prostitution, drug exercise, murders, rapes, you name it, it has happened up there – you are putting a further component up there that will invite the similar shoppers.”

Prior to the vote, Town Councilor Derek Dobosz, who represents the ward exactly where Burnett Street is situated, read 22 factors why he was opposed to the proposal.

“My prime problem is naturally targeted traffic,” he stated. “There are definitely a large amount of holes in the targeted visitors study.”

Dobosz reported he also anxieties about will increase of crime, the effects on residents’ overall health and known as the four proposed higher than-floor storage tanks which would each and every keep 12,000 gallons of diesel gasoline “irregular” given that most fuel station gasoline is saved underground in the point out

“We as a council never have to grant a license,” Councilor Delmarina Lopez explained. “My job is to do what is best for the city and our residents, that’s all of our job. Our position is not to cave to the intimidation tactics of a corporation like Pilot.”

But Councilor Gerard Roy place the concern much more merely: “If I lived up in that spot I wouldn’t want a further truck end possibly.”

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