By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter
Marlborough – A plan by Nissan Automobiles of Marlborough, Inc. to expand its operations on Route 20 East drew comments from abutters during a public hearing held during the City Council's Feb. 13 meeting.
The auto dealership, located at 740 Boston Post Rd. East, is requesting a permit to modify a portion of its building and add a new second floor. The plan calls for a little more than 1,700 square feet in additional space, along with improvements to the showroom and customer service area.
The Hureau family, of 744 Boston Post Rd., engaged a lawyer Mark Bobrowski, to present what he said were longstanding problems of congestion that made it “impossible to get in and out of their property.” Problems with drainage and bright lighting were also mentioned by Bobrowski and another abutter, Richard Hayes, of 748 Boston Post Rd., who has lived at that address since 1947. Hayes elaborated on the problems with drainage and trash landing onto his property.
Bobrowski said he has been working cooperatively with Nissan's lawyer, Sandra Rennie Austin, to solve the problems.
Jeff Batta, the owner of Marlboro Nissan, told the council that the dealership is celebrating their 40th anniversary in the city.
“We hope to be here for another 40 years,” he added.
Ward 1 Councilor Joseph Delano and Councilor-at-Large Mark Oram suggested Nissan present a modified plan addressing solutions to the lighting, drainage and trash problems and present it at the Feb. 28 meeting of the Urban Affairs Committee, where the permit request will be discussed and a recommendation made to the full council. Ward 3 Councilor Matthew Elder asked that the estimated construction time be included.
Starting in September 2007, the dealership tried twice to get a zoning change and special permit so it could re-locate its new car sales on a 6.8-acre site near 890 Boston Post Rd., just west of the existing showroom. That plan would have allowed Nissan to sell used cars at the existing site. The requests were made, the Nissan owner said, because its existing site was too small for the volume of cars it sells.
The request hit a stone wall during a public hearing in September 2008 when neighbors lodged a host of complaints related to noise, quality of life and traffic. The council denied Nissan's request in December of that year.