Planning Board approves site plan for proposed Subaru dealership

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Planning Board approves site plan for proposed Subaru dealership
Drone photography shows the potential site of a Subaru dealership. (Photo/Tami White)

SHREWSBURY – Boch Subaru of New England’s plans to build a new auto dealership at 701 Boston Turnpike is moving forward.

At its March 2 meeting, the Planning Board closed the public hearing for the project and voted unanimously to approve the site plan.

“Since the last time we’ve been here, we’ve had back and forth comments and I believe we’ve pretty much addressed everything that was put to us in terms of the peer reviews,” said attorney Richard Ricker, who represented the applicant. “As you know, we’ve been here a number of times, and we’ve addressed most everything.”

The new dealership would sit on about 25 acres located at the corner of South Street and Route 9. The plans call for a 57,862-square-foot building that would be made up of a showroom, offices, service bays and a reconditioning section.

Planning Board approves site plan for proposed Subaru dealership
Attorney Richard Ricker, left, and Mike Plemmi of Subaru of New England appear before the Planning Board at its March 2 meeting. (Photo/Bill Gilman)

Boch Shrewsbury-Worcester LLC had asked for and was granted a single waiver, relating to the bylaw regarding perimeter landscaping planting at the property line.

“We won’t be clearing all the way to the property line,” said Patrick Healey, a land development consultant with Thompson-Liston Associates.

According to board Chair Steven Boulay, there are 17 conditions tied to the site plan approval.

The conditions include limiting the South Street access to right turn in and out. Additionally, there would be no truck traffic on South from 7 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m., and Subaru couldn’t use outdoor speakers for announcements, ambient music or advertisements.

These conditions come after residents voiced concerns about the proposed entrance from the dealership onto South Street during past Planning Board meetings that drivers entering and exiting from this entrance would be opposing traffic.

The South Street entrance is one of two proposed for the project. The second entrance would be onto Route 9.

It will still be some time before actual work begins on the new dealership.

Because of environmental considerations, the project must still be approved by the Massachusetts Environmental Protection Act (MEPA) office. That approval process will take, at minimum, several months and could take up to a year.

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