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The 'gas station' at Canal and Eagle streets has been operating as just a kiosk for years.

North Adams Planners Say No-Gas Gas Station Has to Go

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff
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The planners approved two new business operations and an amendment to the Norad Mill plan. 
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The gas station that no longer serves gas will have to shut down the cigarette kiosk it's been running. 
The Planning Board on Monday had enough of the stalling related to the redevelopment of the corner of Eagle and Canal streets. 
"They are still operating their kiosk," said Chairman Michael Leary. "Obviously, there is no permit for that."
The owners of the site have been given years to come up with a plan to resume operations at the former BP gas station at the corner of Canal and River streets. 
A new company, Boon Properties LLC, has been on the agenda since December for a special permit application for new construction — but no plans were submitted. The application was postponed several times at the request of the owner but that ended on Monday. 
The board voted to deny the application without prejudice.
"The last contact we had was with the new partnership with this property," Building Inspector William Meranti told the board. "We met at the site with contractors, myself and the director of the Fire Department. Since that time we've heard nothing. Plans were discussed — then nothing."
Boon Properties bought both Eagle Street station and the Getty station on State Road from Summit Distributing LLC in late summer 2014. The BP station had long been without gas, its tanks and pumps removed, and at one point was ordered to shut off the lighted sign that was showing gas prices at 0.000
Two years ago, plans were proffered by Summit that made it through the Conservation Commission and the Planning Board. The kiosk and the pump canopies were to be demolished and and a new 1,400 square-foot convenience store built in the northeast corner with new pumps. The company later came back saying it was scaling down the project but never submitted new plans.
The Getty station was also proposed for a makeover, with Summit getting plans approved to demolish the current convenience store and build a new 4,000 square foot building back in 2015. The pumps had already been shut off at that point and the construction never occurred. The convenience store continued to operate for a couple more years but is now closed. 
The board has frequently brought up the kiosk as a being out of compliance and has pushed for the owners to come forward with a plan and queried the city solicitor on the legality of its operation. A gas station has been operating at that corner for more than 40 years. The site had been location of the Eagle Mill, which burned in 1971.
In other business, the Planning Board approved a special permit for Melanie St. Pierre to give art lessons at  151 Eagle St. St. Pierre said she planned to do day and evening classes for children and adults. 
"They come, build a project, learn new skills and get to take it home," she said. St. Pierre said she was in the process of getting permits for an overhanging sign. Her hours would be from 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., although she only expected to have classes at night twice a week. 
Candace Wall, a licensed mental health counselor, was approved for offices in the Norad Mill to operate from 9 to 5. Wall said she can offer individual psychotherapy to adults, workshops, including self-care skills, and consultation to businesses seeking organizational change. 
The board also approved an amendment to the Norad Mill plans for a reception area on the third floor. The 3,500 square-foot space would have a preparation area with counter and handsink, but no cooking facilities. Owner David Moresi said restaurants or caterers would cook off-site and serve there. The space would be available for small groups, such as bridal showers, or for use by tenants for receptions or meetings. It can hold up to 50 people. 
Signage for the new Museum of Dog was approved but a flag banner for DeMarsico's Wine Cellar in the Norad Mill was put on hold. Moresi said he was not aware of the banner and planners wanted more information on how often it would be placed outside. They decided to ask the DeMarsicos to come to the next meeting. 
Edited on March 15 to clarify plans for rebuilding the BP station were approved by the Planning Board. 

Tags: gas station,   Planning Board,   

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North Adams Council Debates Reappointment, OKs Hybrid Cruiser

By Tammy DanielsiBerkshires Staff

The council spent some time debating the reappointment of Paul Hopkins to the Redevelopment Authority.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — A normally routine reappointment turned into an extended and sometimes heated debate at Tuesday's City Council meeting. 
Mayor Thomas Bernard had recommended City Councilor Paul Hopkins be reappointed to the Redevelopment Authority, of which he has been chairman for at least a decade and a member since 2001.
But Councilor Marie T. Harpin objected that the administration didn't seem to be working to diversify the makeup of its boards and commissions. Two members had been members since 2001 and a third since 2006. 
"This board here just screams that it needs some diverse action here. I mean, we need some fresh ideas," she said. "We need some new ideas, we need some new people that are involved in our in our government."
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