Milford board: Give auto shop more greenery

MILFORD – The Milford Planning Board told the owner of DTW AutoWerks, a Mill Street auto repair shop, that the large building he wants to build on Elm Street is too close to the road and needs more greenery out front.

On April 15, Chris Desmarais and Meridian Land Services brought a “very conceptual” plan to the board for the property at 266 Elm St., between Blue Seal and Precision Cut barber shop.

Tall white pine trees and an unoccupied 18th century house on the property would make way for a 9,375-square-foot steel building.

Board members suggested the building be moved back on the lot and more greenery planted in front.

“What makes that area nice is the greenery in front of Blue Seal,” board Chairwoman Janet Langdell said. Most of the green space on the plan is in the rear of the building, she said, where it can’t be seen, and greenery would soften the front of the metal building. “Our job is to get the best we can for the community at large.”

Board member Paul Amato agreed that the overall appearance could be more appealing, both for the sake of the business and for people driving by.

“It’s disappointing to see the old house go,” he said, “but it’s not doing anyone any good sitting there, and it’s great to see someone’s business expand.”

Amato said he doesn’t expect the building to go as far back as Blue Seal, but definitely further back than the nearby NPC building, which he said is too close to the road and suggested the business needs more parking than the 20 spaces on the plan.

Desmarais said he has outgrown his site on Mill Street, and will sell a few specialty cars on the property, as well as repairing cars.

In other business, the board tabled until May 20 a plan from Badger Hill Properties LLC for the next phase of the development. Town attorney Bill Drescher had advised not accepting the application until questions about common land as it relates to the homeowners’ association could be resolved.

Also tabled until the board’s May 6 work session is a plan for an indoor riding rink on Ponemah Hill Road from Laurie Shiffer and a 27-lot subdivision at Osgood Road and Woodhawk Drive. Applicant Carol Coburn wants a waiver of the road length and there are other issues.