By Beth David, Editor
At its meeting on Monday, 5/1/23, the Fairhaven Select Board reopened the public hearing for discontinuing Shirley Street where it dissects A&A Auto. The hearing had been continued from the 4/18 meeting because of questions about ownership.
Typically, when a street is discontinued, the abutters on either side take half the street. In this case, it is the same owner on both sides. There is also an easement for utilities.
Town Administrator Angie Lopes Ellison said that town counsel found that the town has a fee interest in the property dating back to 1963. That means it cannot simply be discontinued, it has to be sold in accordance with procurement laws.
David Davignon, the engineer presenting plans for the owners of A&A, said it did not seem like the best interests of the town to sell such a small parcel. He said someone maybe could put a farm stand there, bringing even more people to the neighborhood. The owners of A&A only want ot put a fence up, he said.
SB member Stasia Powers said it seemed like the town had no choice.
Ms. Ellison said the correspondence from Town Counsel said they had to follow procurement laws.
“We have to make sure we protect the town,” said Ms. Ellison.
Abutter Albert Ouillette made use of the opportunity to complain about the business operations. He had photos showing that A&A is already using the property by parking cars there. He said wrecks are on the property and he has to look at them when he walks out his door.
“It’s a mess,” he said.
Rouba Sarkis, who owns A&A with her husband Alex, said it is a commercial zone and they are a car repair shop.
“We’re supposed to have cars that are being fixed,” she said.
She said of course they would put up a fence and then would park on their side of the fence. Now, it is a street. She said they cannot tell their customers they can’t park in the street.
In the end, the board voted to postpone the request until further notice so they can review the procurement protocol.
The board also reopened the pole hearing from 4/18 for a new pole on Alder Street on West Island. Homeowner Dan Wood objected to the placement of one of the poles at the 4/18 meeting, saying it would affect their use and enjoyment of the property.
That hearing was continued to give Eversource a chance to revisit the placement of the pole.
Ms. Ellison said that the town did not get the information from Eversource, and no one from the company attended the meeting.
SB member Keith Silvia said he went by the house and looked at the proposed location, and agreed that it would be an “inconvenience.”
Ms. Ellison said the Eversource representative had said at the last meeting that the load was too much for existing poles.
The abutters hoped that there was another way to strengthen the poles without adding one right in the middle of their frontage.
Eversource was supposed to respond with alternatives or an explanation of why they needed to stick with the plan.
The board voted to reschedule the hearing after they receive information from Eversource. Meanwhile, the work has not been approved.
Click here to download the 5/4/23 issue: 05-04-23 ArborDay
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