THE ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS will be asked to approve Lynnfield Fuel’s request to add a third garage bay during a September meeting. The Planning Board recommended the project during a July meeting. (Dan Tomasello Photo)
By DAN TOMASELLO
LYNNFIELD — Lynnfield Fuel, 596 Post Office Sq., is looking to expand the facility by adding a new garage bay.
Atty. Jay Kimball recently appeared before the Planning Board on behalf of Lynnfield Properties, LLC to give an overview of Lynnfield Fuel’s proposal to add a third bay to the Mobil gas station. He said the Zoning Board of Appeals will be asked to approve the site plan in September.
“The proposal is to add an additional bay for servicing vehicles to the existing building,” said Kimball. “The existing building has two bays. They do auto inspections for the commonwealth, which requires that one bay be used for inspections at all times. Although it looks like Lynnfield Fuel has a two-bay system, they really don’t. The demand for inspections has created a situation where they can’t do the kind of service they used to be able to do.”
Kimball said the third bay will be located on the left side of Lynnfield Fuel.
“The enlargement will be 15-feet by 47-feet,” said Kimball. “It’s going to blend in with the existing building. It’s a little confusing if you look at the front of the building because in addition to the two bays, there is also an office and a retail space.”
Kimball said Lynnfield Fuel is located on a lot that has 37,372-square feet of land and has 217-feet of frontage.
“It’s located in the Limited Business District,” said Kimball. “The use of an automotive service station is permitted with a Special Permit. I could not find a copy of the Special Permit, but the Assessor’s Office informed me that the building was built in 1969. This was the former Fletcher property. Jim was the town’s DPW director and his mother owned the shopping center area.”
Kimball said Lynnfield Fuel also wants to add the third bay because “there is a lot of testing equipment that goes into servicing cars these days.”
“If they have it all in one bay, then they are stuck because they cannot handle certain kinds of automobiles,” said Kimball. “There are no other changes proposed to the site. There is a waste storage tank that will have to be relocated, which will be done in compliance with the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection’s regulations. There are no changes to the entrances, parking and signage.”
Greenman-Pederson, Inc. (GPI) Site Engineering Director David Jordan said the ZBA will need to evaluate “certain criteria” before approving Lynnfield Fuel’s site plan.
“The use of the property is not going to change,” said Jordan. “The parking and the refueling locations are not impacted by this proposal. Pedestrian access will be the same as it is today, and it will not affect curb cuts.”
Jordan said adding the third service bay will not affect Lynnfield Fuel’s sewage disposal system. He said trash will continue being disposed in a dumpster on the property, and hazardous waste will be stored inside the building.
“There is adequate space on the property for loading and unloading goods,” said Jordan. “That will remain unchanged with this proposal.”
Jordan said Lynnfield Fuel has 24 parking spaces in front of the facility.
“The fueling locations provide an additional eight,” said Jordan.
Jordan noted that there is a small area of the property where there is “contaminated soil that has been capped in space.”
“An Activity and Use Limitation (AUL) is on record with the Registry of Deeds,” said Jordan. “It outlines specific things that can and cannot happen within that area. This proposal is allowed by that recorded document.”
Jordan said a soil management plan and a health and safety plan will both be developed due to the excavation work that will be required to build the new bay.
“We anticipate the addition’s footings will be more than 3-feet into the ground,” said Jordan. “A licensed site professional will be preparing those documents, and they will be done in accordance with state requirements.”
Jordan also noted that Lynnfield Fuel is located in a Zone A Surface Water Supply Protection Area.
“New underground storage tanks are prohibited, and we are not proposing any new underground storage tanks,” said Jordan. “Liquid hazardous materials are allowed to be stored in containers that are above ground and in a building, which is what is being proposed. They will be stored in compliance with the Fire Department and Health Department’s regulations. We believe the proposal is consistent with what is allowed in a Zone A area.”
Kimball anticipates that the ZBA will include a series of conditions included as part of the site plan modification request.
“We are fine with that,” said Kimball. “It’s pretty typical.”
In response to a question from Planning Board member Page Wilkins, Jordan said adding the third bay will not make it more difficult for motorists to enter and exit Lynnfield Fuel.
Planning Board member Amy MacNulty asked about the state’s environmental review process for the project.
Planning Board member Ed Champy, who works as a developer in other communities, said soil samples will be sent to a laboratory to be tested.
“After they get the soil samples back from the lab, they will get shipped to a landfill either in New Hampshire or locally,” said Champy. “From there, they will then close out the plan. It’s heavily regulated and since it’s oil, it is pretty simple. It’s not overly complicated like a dry cleaning plant. It’s relatively straightforward from an environmental standpoint.”
Planning Board Chair Brian Charville also noted that Building Inspector Joe O’Callaghan will inspect the new bay before Lynnfield Fuel begins servicing vehicles.
Charville asked what is going to happen to the dumpster as well as the tires and snowplow that are currently stored outside where the new bay will be located.
“There is going to be plenty of room to store the dumpster,” said Jordan. “There is 10- to 15-feet of width that will remain next to the building, which provides adequate space for the dumpster. They may actually be able to put the tires inside because they will have some additional space. The truck and plow are now gone, but they could be stored outside of the property if necessary.”
Charville also inquired if Lynnfield Fuel’s vacuum and air pump will remain on the property.
Jordan said yes.
Planning and Conservation Director Emilie Cademartori recalled that there is a catch basin on the property that “dumps directly into Hawkes Brook.”
“It is literally piped under the site, under the shopping center and comes out on the other side,” said Cademartori. “I don’t think there is any treatment there, and I am amazed that is allowed to exist. The project would trigger stormwater review if it was being done on a grass site, but it’s not being triggered because the area is paved. Kelly Jeep recently added stormwater treatment as part of its site plan work, and it would be really great if the gas station’s owner will do something to protect the water supply. I think it will be a huge improvement.”
Jordan said he will take a look at the stormwater issue.
“We will investigate it to see if there is an opportunity to repair it,” said Jordan.
Kimball said the ZBA will be discussing Lynnfield Fuel’s site plan approval request at its September meeting.
After the discussion, the Planning Board voted to recommend that the ZBA approve Lynnfield Fuel’s site plan with a series of conditions, including adding stormwater treatment.