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Avis Avenue Neighbors Raise Issues About Proposed Used Car Lot

Jan 08, 2019 07:45AM ● By Lisa Redmond

DRACUT – A Tewksbury-based used car dealer is proposing to convert a residential home and property at 1787 Bridge St. into a used car lot that would eventually have up to 75 cars for sale at the site that abuts wetlands and Avis Avenue neighbors.

At a recent Conservation Commission meeting, Kenneth Lania, of Cornerstone Land Consultants, appeared on behalf of Leandro Dias, owner of Advanced Auto Sales, which has a used car lot on Main Street in Tewksbury. Dias has a purchase and sale agreement on the Dracut property.

In addition to the necessary approvals from the commission, Lania said he must also seek various approvals from the Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Board and the Board of Selectmen before the first shovel hits the dirt on May 1.

Lania explained to the Commission and ZBA that the plans propose converting the existing single-family house at the nearly 49,000-square-foot lot located at the corner Bridge Street and Avis Avenue into the car lot office. The house is in an area already zoned for business.

The existing garage will eventually be expanded to make a four-car garage for the cars he fixes and cleans for resale. He expects that tractor trailers will use that area to drop off vehicles

The land in front of the house will be paved up to a retaining wall to allow for up to 75 cars to be displayed for sale, Lania said.

The entrance and exit to the lot on Bridge Street abuts an existing daycare entrance/exit. Tractor trailers will be dropping off vehicles at the site.

Based on the minutes of a September ZBA meeting, several Avis Avenue abutters were concerned about noise and the view from their properties, suggesting a high privacy fence be installed. Lania said an existing tree buffer within 25 feet of the abutting property will remain.

Abutter Gene Chaput, of 37 Avis Avenue, told the ZBA that 75 cars is an excessive number of cars on this lot and may disrupt traffic and the neighbors in this area. He suggested the ZBA investigate the number of cars allow per square feet of frontage in Dracut.

Lania must still appear before the Board of Selectmen for a special permit and the selectmen have the authority to restrict the number of vehicles allowed as part of issuing a license. Fewer used cars on the site would reduce the congestion on the site making it easier for emergency vehicles to maneuver if necessary.

While no abutters attended the Jan. 2 Conservation Commission hearing, commission members questioned the impact of runoff with much of the site being paved and the impact on the large wetland across the street.

Lania explained the site is in a natural basin, so water from the site currently stays on the site. There will be a drainage system designed for the site. Part of his job is to ensure that “none of the water goes onto Bridge Street,’’ he told the commission. But the state and federal regulators require a stormwater pollution prevention plan just in case.


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