By K.B. Sherman, Contributing Writer
Shrewsbury – At the third continuance of a hearing for Sam’s Mobile Service Center, 285 Boston Turnpike, Shrewsbury, issues came to a head, resulting in the owners’ proposal to increase the size of their car lot being withdrawn until more details were finalized.
The hearing before the Shrewsbury Board of Selectmen March 8 was another continuation of a hearing that had begun in November, 2015. The last continuance had been granted Feb. 9 on a petition to allow Robert S. Aoude, the manager, to be granted a Class II License and increase the number of vehicles on site from 16 to 25. He requested by letter another continuance for four weeks due to matters that are still pending. The board approved a motion to delay the hearing until the first meeting in March.
At the March 8 hearing, Auode appeared, again requesting a further continuance as “issues are still open.” He again asked for board’s patience. According to Aoude, gas and plumbing inspections were still pending, as were issues about restrooms, the lot ramp, and a hearing in Boston later in March dealing with additional variances being sought regarding plumbing, lot access, and an extension of the number of vehicles allowed on the lot.
Aoude admitted to having been misled by a report that the number increase from 16 to 25 had already been granted by the board, to which Chair Moira Miller corrected him by stating that any board decision would have been communicated to him privately in writing.
At this point Town Manager Daniel Morgado asked Aoude if he wanted still another continuance of the hearing to follow the one that will be held in Boston. Miller inserted that she understood the Aoudes had been good neighbors and that it was her inclination to give local businesses a lot of “wiggle room – a lot of latitude,” but that she was no longer feeling inclined to give more latitude to this application. Aoude replied that work to have been done by different tradesmen in making the lot meet requirements had not been done and that yes, he was at fault for trying to run a bigger business there without full town approval.
Selectmen James Kane stated that he would vote not to grant a further extension to the hearing, considering the history of this application. Rather, he suggested, the applicant should start over, especially since he understood that Aoude was already parking more than the approved 16 vehicles on the lot.
“I don’t think you’ve been working in good faith,” he added.
He recommended that Aoude withdraw his petition without prejudice, and “get your act together, and resubmit” after taking into consideration the neighbors’ concerns.
Selectman Maurice DePalo agreed, saying “I am disturbed that from the beginning you have had over 16 cars on the lot for sale – you are already over the limit – where is the good faith?”
“I think it’s in your interest to withdraw and resubmit,” Miller said. “We are now in the fourth month.”
The hearing was then opened to public comment, of which there was none.
Morgado he suggested Aoude withdraw, get matters in order and then request a new hearing.
Aoude then asked to withdraw without prejudice and the board approved, 5-0.