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Elm Street Lipton Mart Plans House Demolition for Parking

By Andy McKeeveriBerkshires Staff
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Lipton Mart on Elm Street is looking to demolish a residential home on Livingston Avenue for more parking.
The company purchased the 1,200 square-foot home at 11 Livingston and is looking to add a half -dozen new spaces. The Zoning Board of Appeals granted a permit for the work on Wednesday.
"When all is said and done we'll gain six more spaces," said Bob Fournier of SK Design.
Fournier said there will be no alteration to the gas station and convenience store. But, the two curb cuts currently in existence will be consolidated, new lighting and a fence and landscaping will be done. 
"The fewer curb cuts you have sometimes is better for circulation," Fournier said.
The plan calls for vehicles to be facing the store so headlights shouldn't be an issue, he said. But a new fence is being installed at the back of the property for noise.
"It is primarily a sound barrier more than anything," Fournier said.
Some neighbors did raise concerns with the project and Ward 3 Councilor Nicholas Caccamo reviewed the plans with them. Caccamo said the plan overall does fit with the characteristics of the area, which has had commercial properties encroaching on the residential area for years. But he did call on Lipton Mart to plant trees along the street instead of installing a raised planter. 
The ZBA had concerns with the communication with the neighbors. Chairman Albert Ingegni admonished Fournier because Lipton Mart hadn't notified neighbors of the plan. Fournier said the company did attempt to reach out the abutters.
"You've got to reach out to the neighborhood," Ingegni said.
Lipton Mart had to go to the ZBA for a special permit because the project intrudes into a residentially zoned district. The company didn't have enough of a setback from the property lines required in a residential area, but enough for a commercial area. 
Member John Fitzgerald disliked the project because it encroaches onto the residential area. He also had concerns over the circulation of traffic on the property.
"I have a little problem keep going into residential areas for parking," he said.
In the end, the board approved the permit.

Tags: convenience store,   parking,   

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