Plans to use a large yellow building on Kings Highway south of the intersection with Railroad Avenue are being proposed. The town planning board is seeking details from the owner, Salvatore Mancuso, before it begins the approval process.
Kings Highway is lined with industrial buildings. It is an industrial zone.
Surveyor Dan McCarthy of Praetorius and Conrad acknowledged at last month’s meeting that more information was needed. The owner has discussed possible uses for the building with code enforcement officer Alvah Weeks. Mancuso has decided to seek approval for a warehouse in which clients can store materials and sell them by appointment.
“He wants self-storage, bulk storage, in the building,” McCarthy told the planning board. McCarthy has discussed such questions with Mancuso as the height of the storage areas, whether he could use a forklift within the building, and whether he would be prepared to divide the building among multiple clients.
Mancuso had discussed using the Internet to organize sales from the building, McCarthy said. “I told him if you’re going to do that, this is something the planning board needs to review.”
Another option Mancuso brought up involved signs, “and of course signs mean sales [from the warehouse] and that’s out,” explained McCarthy. “He understands that it absolutely isn’t going to happen in this zone.”
The plans include additional parking to meet the zoning requirement, McCarthy said. “We have twelve existing parking spaces, and that would cover the amount of floor space he has in his warehouse, and I added the other eleven, that would be an overflow.”
The traditional idea of bulk storage generally consists of individual lockers that the holder can access at any time. What Mancuso is proposing is closer to a warehouse, where large quantities of products are stored, McCarthy said.
There is interest. “He [Mancuso] has two different clients that are interested in this,” McCarthy said. “Mancuso would also retain part of the building for his own use, because he understands there’s some value in owning part of the building and using it for the same purposes.”
“Presently, it’s a barren building sitting on a barren site,” the board’s planning consultant Dan Shuster said. “The site plan doesn’t address landscaping, drainage, signage, what’s going to be paved, what’s going to be landscaped, all things that are required as part of site-plan approval.”
McCarthy responded that his client wanted to know whether his proposal was feasible.
Questions about the definition of “self-storage” made board member Ken Goldberg dubious about the legality of the proposal. Self-storage units are not a legal use in the industrial zone. Shuster explained that the storage units are generally thought of as individual lockers that can be accessed at any time, while this proposal is a warehouse.
Board member Carole Furman said the plan does not appear to include enough space for a tractor-trailer to turn around. McCarthy began to show her on the plans how trucks could turn. He stopped and said, “You’ve got a good question, and I can’t answer it. That is something that needs to be addressed.”
The proposal has other problems, Shuster said. “The setbacks are insufficient, the building has a semi-paved no-man’s-land along Kings Highway .… It ain’t pretty. Something that defines the edge of the parking and defines the building would go a long way.”
While the board discussed how owners of unsightly buildings had dealt with the problem through landscaping or modification, no specifics beyond the suggestion that some plantings would help were offered.
McCarthy thanked the board members for their comments. He will relay them to his client.