CST may seek special permit for parking garage


     Representatives of Cell Signaling Technology will most likely be seeking a special permit for their proposed multi-level garage at the June Special Town Meeting.

     Attorney Mark Glovsky, representing CST, told the Manchester-By-The-Sea Planning Board Monday night that the company would like to build the parking garage with a different number of spaces and a different size parking space than what is set forth in the town’s zoning bylaws.

      Glovsky said that building the parking garage would cost about $11 millions, while an open surface parking lot would only cost about $1.5 to $2 million.

     “So, there is a significant investment that Cell Signaling anticipates making and they want to be sure that it is designed correctly and satisfies your requirements,” said Glovsky.

      The parking garage has the advantage of having a smaller impact on the environment, since it will take up about a quarter of the space that a surface lot would need.

     Craig Thompson, a senior vice president of Global Operations for CST, explained that while the first phase of the research and development laboratory that CST is seeking to build would have 280 employees, they were proposing only 236 parking spaces in the garage. The laboratory would be at the end of Atwater Avenue, in the former gravel quarry north of the Manchester Athletic Club.

     Thompson said that while the lab workers and the “mixed” employees would always be working on site, many of the office workers would be able to work from home.

      Thompson added that the company promotes carpooling and bicycling to work. In addition, employees on vacation, on business trips, or out for illness or other reasons would reduce the need for more spaces.

      Finally, CST’s plans call for 30 parking spaces outside the front entrance for visitors, 16 more space along the northern section of the loop road around the complex and 18 spaces at the trail head entrance, which the public could use to enjoy the woodland trails in the northern section of the property.

      Mark Stonier of Walker Consultants, which specializes in parking garages, said the town’s current zoning bylaws would require CST to build a larger parking garage than necessary.  The bylaws call for two-thirds (or more) of the spaces to be 9-feet by 18-feet, large enough for a large SUV. The other one-third of spaces could be 8-feet by 16-feet, good for compact and small cars.

      “So, what we would recommend is ‘a one size fits all’ approach,” said Stonier, with all 236 parking spaces at 8-foot-6-inches by 18 feet. “We think this would be more than adequate to provide for the proposed user group for this facility.”

     Stonier said that more than the recommended amount of space between the rows of parking spaces would make maneuvering in and out of spaces easier.

     Glovsky said that CST would need a special permit for the deviation from the bylaw’s parking space size and was hoping to get a sense of the committee if this change would be acceptable.

     The board agreed to wait until hearing from Building Inspector Paul Orlando at its June 22 meeting. However, none of the member expressed any concern about the size of the parking spaces during their questioning of the CST representatives.

     Board member Laura Tenney called the goal of the CST proposed parking garage “a good one and certainly more efficient.”

      Board member Christopher Olney said that if the company found it did not have enough parking at the end of the first phase of development, more parking could always be included as part of the second phase.

     Questions were raised about where bicycles would be parked, how many charging stations would be a part of the garage and whether they would be able to expand the number of charging stations if demand called for it?

     The officials said they were unable to answer those questions but that all of them were being considered as CST continues to make its plans.

     The Planning Board also discussed solving a number of problems that appear in the online version of the town’s zoning bylaws.

       Board member Mary Foley went over an extensive number of typos, small errors, out-of-date references and such in just Section 1 of the bylaws.

        Board members debated the best and quickest way to solve them, since they hoped to be able to present the changes and corrections as a warrant article in the June Town Meeting.

       The board voted 5-2, with Foley and Board member Christine Delisio against, to hire KP Law, the town’s legal consultants, to come up with a corrected draft of the bylaws in time to be included on the June 22 warrant.



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