Cathartes Private Investments (CPI), a real estate and energy development firm from Boston, appeared before the Planning Board on Monday evening to continue its efforts in obtaining approval for a self-storage facility located on Commerce Way, just off Groton Road near the Westford Solar Park and the ACE Hardware plaza.
The project, a 72,800 square foot self-storage facility, was first presented to the Board back on Nov. 19th. Since the initial meeting, it has been continued three times: once by the Board and twice at the request of CPI.
The proposed storage facility will house a total of 570 units divided among seven single-story buildings. One of the buildings will have a 600 square foot office to serve customers. An existing 14,000 square foot office building will be demolished so that the self-storage site can be built in its place.
The most significant site improvement will be the reconstruction of the Commerce Way and Groton Road intersection and the reconstruction of approximately 1,100 linear feet of Commerce Way leading to the development.
Attorney Doug Deschenes, a partner with Deschenes & Farrell, P.C., and Andrea Tavares, a Civil Engineer with Land Tech Consultants, provided representation for CPI. The two updated Planning Board members with regards to their progress on revising the site plan set in order to satisfy concerns of the Town brought forth during the review process.
Deschenes informed the Board that data provided by the development team to the Town indicates traffic from the site will actually decrease during peak flow periods (the morning and afternoon commutes) as opposed to the number of vehicle trips generated by an office building. People typically go to their self-storage units during non-peak times;therefore, weekends tend to be the busiest.
“Putting in storage and taking out office will create an additional five cars per day”, Deschenes said.
One of the main focuses of the Board, as noted in the staff report prepared by Town Planner Chris Kluchman, was the potential traffic impact to Groton Road created by the new development.
Town Engineer Paul Starratt didn’t feel a traffic study was necessary based on the data he reviewed; however, Kluchman said CPI would still need to formally request a waiver for the required Traffic Impact Analaysis.
Vice Chairman Mike Green requested CPI provide Starratt with a more detailed summary of the current on-site traffic conditions and those generated by the development. Deschenes agreed to do so.
The Planning Board voted to continue the case to the February 4th meeting in order to allow CPI the necessary time to resolve the remaining issues that will satisfy the Planning and Engineering Departments.