WAKEFIELD — It appears that Dollar Tree will be able to meet its goal of a May 1 opening for its downtown Wakefield store in the former CVS building at 376-378 Main St.

The Zoning Board of Appeals agreed last night to allow building owner Robert Santonelli to proceed with upgrades to the building façade while he puts together a total sign package for the board’s April 8 meeting.

Santonelli was concerned about the statutory 20-day waiting period if he had to wait until April 8 to get an approval decision for the façade work because it would likely delay the planned May 1 opening of his anchor tenant, Dollar Tree.

Santonelli, along with attorney Brian McGrail, last night showed the ZBA samples of the multi-layer EIFS material that he would like install on the upper sign band portion of the building façade. Santonelli showed the board a palette of colors to choose from.

The board favored a light color for the surface of the sign band with 18-inch tall pinned green “Dollar Tree” letters. The board insisted that Santonelli obtain several samples of color options for the background and hang them on the building along with at least one green letter from Dollar Tree so that the board can get a sense of how the colors work at the actual site.

The ZBA also required that Santonelli present a total sign package, including any planned window signs, before the board would approve any signage. Two other businesses are also going into the building – an insurance agency in former Lubie’s storefront and a storage company on the Centre Street side. The board also discussed signage for those businesses.

Santonelli is expected to have the background and letter samples hung on the building within the next week or two so that ZBA members can individually go by and check them out on their own schedules.

Santonelli told the board that between the purchase price and improvements, at least $2.5 million is being invested in the building.

The hearing was continued to April 8 when the ZBA expects a complete sign package to be presented.


The town’s traffic consultant, John Kennedy, appeared before the board to respond to a study by ASB Design Group that questioned elements of a memorandum on parking and traffic that was prepared by Kennedy and the Traffic Advisory Committee with respect to the planned Brightview Senior Living Facility on Crescent Street.

The ASB study was performed on behalf of Andrea Sullivan of 12 Crescent St. The ASB report questioned Kennedy’s application of ITE (Institute Traffic Engineers) guidelines in concluding that the 81 spaces planned for the Brightview facility was adequate.

But Kennedy cited “a consistent misinterpretation of the ITE guideline throughout the reviewer’s report.” He also disagreed with the concept that Brightview would be a “Continuing Care Retirement Community,” with higher parking requirements.

Kennedy agreed that “at times, but not on a daily basis, there may be spillover to the municipal lot or to the 10 or so on-street spaces along Crescent Street.”

Kennedy also addressed a number of other issues in the response to his original report and also responded to questions and comments from the board, the public and from Alan Grenier, Sullivan’s attorney.

McGrail had also planned to discuss an Operations and Maintenance Plan created for the proposed Brightview facility, but the ZBA wanted more time to review it and will discuss the plan in detail at its April 8 meeting.

Architect Eric Anderson presented some minor changes to the design of the building and landscape architect James Emanuel reviewed plantings around the building. The board offered some feedback but also elected to wait until April 8 for a more in depth discussion.

Before continuing the hearing, the board asked to see colors proposed for brick, shingles and clapboards at the April 8 meeting as well as details on exterior doorways and windows.


Neighbors of Stefanie Gird objected to her application for a Special Permit allowing her to operate a family day care at her 239 Nahant St. home.

Attorney Brian McGrail commended Gird for wanting to conduct her business legally by obtaining the required Special Permit. He said that under law, she could not care for more than six children in her home.

The neighbors were residents of condo units on Raven Road, a private way off 239 Nahant St. The driveway to the proposed family day care is on Raven Road. Neighbors worried that a day care center would cause additional traffic and wear and tear on a narrow road that they own and maintain. They were also concerned about liability issues associated with the presence of a day care, since it is a private way.

After some questions from the board, McGrail agreed to do some further research into his client’s rights to access Raven Road for the proposed purpose.

The hearing was continued to April 8.


The ZBA approved a free-standing sign at 10-12 Vernon St. that will advertise the location of 129 Quick Stop. The board denied a variance to allow greater than 10 percent usage of window space for signs.