Sonic moves a step closer to driving into the city

Marlborough – Despite initial concerns about traffi c flow , th e City Council voted March 22 in favor of moving the special permit request by Sonic Corp. to build one of its drivein restaurants in the city out of the Urban Aff airs Committee.

With the recommendation of the Urban Aff airs Committee, which has waffled on zoning and permitting conditions, the City Council voted in favor of sending the request to the city’s Legal Department before bringing the request back in front of the full City Council for a vote.

Sonic Corp. presented to the City Council in November 2009 a plan to build one of its chain restaurants – a vintage 1950s Drive-In, complete with roller-skating carhops – on the west-bound side of Route 20, next to the Bank of America and across from Hannaford Plaza.

Making a friendly amendment to the special permit, Councilor at-Large Patricia Pope requested that the city ask the applicant to include language into the permit for them to host a job fair for Marlborough students.

“I would like to see a job fair to give kids in Marlborough first shot at these jobs,” Pope said.

Chair of the Urban Aff airs Committee Stephen Levy said he would be happy to reconfirm with the special permit applicant to include the request for a job fair. Explaining to the council that hosting a job fair for Marlborough students was part of the initial discussion, Levy anticipated that the applicant would willingly host the event.

Speaking in opposition to the request for the job fair, Ward 2 City Councilor Paul Ferro said he did not agree with the city asking the applicant to host a job fair. He argued that the job fair had nothing to do with the request for a special permit for the drive-in restaurant.

“I thought we were moving away from special permits being mitigation grab bags,” Ferro said.

Despite agreeing with Ferro about how the city should negotiate permits, Ward 1 City Councilor Joseph Delano voted in favor of the job fair.

“It is a very small request,” Delano said. “Why not give the jobs to the kids in Marlborough?”

Ward 6 City Councilor Edward Clancy agreed with the request for a job fair

“It is a great job for ice hockey players,” Clancy said.

With the restaurant hoping to break ground in early summer, Clancy said that he was very concerned about the location of the entrance to the restaurant and the eff ect that it would have on Route 20.

“There is a tremendous amount of traffic from the entrance,” Clancy said. “I was very concerned about the lack of an entrance.”

With the proposed addition of a new entrance and exit into the restaurant parking lot included in the special permit, however, Clancy said he was much more comfortable with the plan.

Delano applauded the Urban Aff airs Committee for the speed and efficienc y wit h which the request was handled.

“We want to be pro-business. Urban Affairs moved very quickly,” Delano said.

The special permit is expected to return from the city’s Legal Department and come before the full City Council for a vote at the council’s next meeting, Monday, April 5.

Because the permit includes entrances and exits involving access to a state highway (Route 20), the special permit request is also subject to approval by the state.

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=6734

Posted by on Mar 26 2010. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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