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Warehouse plan before Council
news@woburnonline.com

WOBURN - A proposal for a self-storage warehouse on Washington Street across from the Kohl's shopping center makes its foray to the City Council in the form of a public hearing for a zoning change on Tuesday (7:30 p.m.) at City Hall.

William Highgas III and Arpie Highgas, individually and as trustees for BAR Realty Trust, have petitioned the council to allow self-storage warehouse uses in Business Interstate zones.

William Highgas III reportedly hopes to sell 1.6 acres of land at 420, 422, and 424 Washington St. to a Brookline-based developer who would build a 4-story self-storage warehouse.

Two weeks ago, the Planning Board endorsed the zoning change, with a condition that self-storage uses require a special permit, meaning the developer must come back to the council if and after the zoning change is approved.

There are four other special permit petitions scheduled to Tuesday's meeting, three of which are also on the docket for a Special Permits Committee meeting on Monday at City Hall.

Bell Atlantic and NStar are co-sponsors of a petition the would allow the former to install cellular telephone antenna and related equipment at a power stanchion off Waltham Street in West Woburn, and the latter to install a so-called "whip antenna."

In a letter to the council, attorney Joseph Tarby, representing property owner Roger Wheaton, advised the council his client has not formally endorsed the NStar portion of the petition, and requests the council allow NStar to withdraw its proposal.

On behalf of Wheaton, Tarby also requests approval of Bell Atlantic's portion of the petition.

Charles Saccardo will have his last chance to make a pitch for a special permit to allow for parking of a cargo trailer at 245 Salem St., at the intersection of Pine Street in East Woburn.

Saccardo was a no-show at last month's public hearing, due to an apparent schedule conflict. The council agreed to continue the hearing to this week's meeting.

A petition from Otis Street resident Michael Tyminski is also on the dockets both tonight and tomorrow. Tyminski would like a special permit to level off his backyard with fill that he has already brought to the site, but a couple of neighbors have expressed concerns about the impact of the project.

The fifth public hearing on Tuesday's agenda is from Lowe's Home Improvement Warehouse, which wants special permits for the rental and storage of commercial vehicles at its store on Commerce Way.

Attorney Tarby has requested the public hearing be continued until the council's meeting on March 18. The Planning Board, which is acting in an advisory role to the council, is scheduled to hold its public hearing on March 11.

Other committees

Four other council committees are scheduled to meet on Monday, beginning at 7 p.m.

The Personnel Committee is finally set to discuss with Mayor Thomas McLaughlin the salary for new DPW Supt. Vincent Ferlisi.

The debate has been put off twice in the past, once at the request of the mayor who asked for more time to prepare and the second time because he was on vacation.

Some council members want to review Ferlisi's qualifications in order to set his salary. Others say the matter is best left in the hands of the mayor. Ferlisi was a former mayoral aide who succeeded former DPW Supt. Frederick Russell.

Ferlisi and McLaughlin are also expected to discuss with the council's Finance Committee an appropriation of $125,000 from free cash to the DPW overtime account, reportedly to cover the city's snow removal costs this winter.

The council's Transportation & Traffic Committee is expected to discuss a measure that would change the role of the city's Traffic Commission from a legislative body to an advisory one.

Five aldermen have sponsored an order expected to be read at Tuesday's meeting that would petition the state legislature for the aforementioned change.

If the measure is approved, jurisdiction over traffic matters would revert to the council.

The council's Police & License Commission is expected to issue a recommendation on the renewal of a second class motor vehicle (used cars) sales license for George's Auto Body, 19C Jefferson Ave.

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