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Service station proposal put back on the table

December 06, 2009
STURBRIDGE —†With nearly six months and more than $70,000 dedicated to the planning process so far, JCJ Realty Trust's proposed Route 20 development is still not much more than a pile of maps and paperwork in an engineer's briefcase.

Mike Loin of Bertin Engineering, along with 173 Main Street property owner Joseph Daou — who makes up half of JCJ with partner Jack Bouhanna — and representing legal counsel Allison R. Lane of Fletcher, Tilton and Whipple, met Thursday, Dec. 3 with the Conservation Commission to reopen a public hearing many thought was settled more than a month ago.

JCJ's proposed gasoline/service station and convenience store for the Main Street property commonly known as the defunct Rom's restaurant parking lot — and for the next month, the Roscioli's annual Christmas tree outlet — was approved, albeit with a lengthy list of conditions, by all necessary town bodies at the end of August, but a change in personnel on the Conservation Commission has set the embroiled plan back once again.

Beginning the planning process of this particular proposal short one board member, and losing another along the way, the Conservation Commission's approval vote of the project was determined to be null and void due to a stipulation in the town's charter stating decisions of that nature must be made by a complete board. Upon filling its two vacancies, the Conservation Commission took a revote on the issue, this time denying approval of the project.

JCJ's project requires Conservation's approval because the property directly abuts identified wetland area to the rear.

For more on this story, please see Monday's Southbridge Evening News.

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