November 12 2014

Car Storage Lot Approved for Cambridge Street

By: Rich Hosford

After a long discussion the Planning Board approved the amended site plan for the proposed auto storage lot for Herb Chambers Audi and Porsche. 

 

Representatives from Herb Chambers, including attorney Mark Vaughan of Riemer & Braunstei, were before the board with a modified landscaping plan meant to address the members’ concerns over people driving would see a “sea of cars.” 

 

Herb Chambers is looking to turn the lot next to its Audi and Porsche dealership, located at 64 Cambridge Street, into a storage lot for 149 inventory vehicles. The site was formerly the home of the Mattress Mart and Stone Surfaces Inc. businesses. 

 

The Herb Chambers group had been before the board multiple times with different variations of the site plan. The big concern by members of the board was the screening of the vehicles using vegetation. They were working on a variance granted for the project by the Zoning Board of Appeals which stated the view must be obscured from site so that people traveling on Cambridge Street would not be able to see the parked vehicles. 

 

There was some debate over whether that meant the vehicles had to be completely screened or if the sight-line just needed to be broken up by vegetation. Most of the board members took a hardline approach and kept pressing for more screening, including for those looking at an angle as they drive north on Cambridge. Member William Gaffney, who was on the ZBA when the condition was set, was especially adamant that the cars be nearly completely blocked from view. 

 

The Herb Chambers people came with a revised plan with more vegetative cover than they showed the board during its last meeting. However, members still had concerns, especially over the fact that part of the screening facing the street was made up of deciduous trees and they were worried that during the winter the cars would be clearly visible. 

 

After some modifications to the plan were made with Herb Chamber’s landscape architect the board approved the plan on the conditions that the screening will be effective year line at least to the point where they headlight-level of the cars be obscured. There will also be a review of the screening after two full growing seasons and at that point the board could make additional demands for more vegetation. 

 
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