August 13 2019

New Plan for Additional Parking at Human Services Building Going to Planning Board

By: Rich Hosford


The Board of Selectmen voted to send a new parking plan for the Human Services Building to the Planning Board after a previous iteration was rejected for removing too much green space. 


Town Administrator Paul Sagarino said that back in June members of the Board of Selectmen, Planning Board, workers in the building and some residents met at the building that houses the Senior Center to discuss the parking situation. 


“The discussion was on balancing the need for parking at the site while maintaining as much green space as possible,” he said. “It was a very positive gathering and many great suggestions were made and considered.”


Sagarino said Town Engineer Tom Hayes and Senior Engineer Tim Mazzone came up with a new plan based on the feedback they received. Hayes was at the meeting on Monday to present it to the board. 


He said the need for additional parking at the site has been a point of discussion since 2005 and that the recent renovation of the building and the opening of Grand View Farm a few years ago have only exacerbated that need. Last year they came up with a plan to add more spaces but it was rejected.  


“We went to the Planning Board about a year or 18 months ago with a much bigger proposal,” he explained. “We wanted to take all the green space in front of the building and put in two banks of parking spaces. We got a lot of pushback due to the loss of greenspace.”


This new plan, he said, will only be one bank of new parking. In total the original plan included 54 spaces and this new one has 23 new spaces but could be expanded upon in the future if necessary. 


“The beautiful thing about this design is it is modular so if in the future there is a need we can go back and add more parking,” he said. 


The new spaces, colored in black on the plan above, will be added in front of the building. There will also be changes to the route of traffic - rather than having one entrance and a separate exit there will now be one entrance/exit. Anyone who parks to the left of the building will be able to leave directly but once someone starts going around the building it turns into a one-way all the way around and into the new parking area. 

The plan also calls for a new sidewalk along the front of the building that will connect to existing sidewalks at the site. 


When asked about handicap parking spaces DPW Director John Sanchez said they did an evaluation and determined the current number of spots already exceeds the typical need seen at the building. 


The Board of Selectmen voted 5-0-0 to submit the plan to the Planning Board.


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