Dollar General critics fear highway access in Deerfield

  • The corner of Mill Village Road and Routes 5 and 10 in Deerfield in October. Recorder file photo

Staff Writer
Published: 2/11/2019 7:21:25 AM

DEERFIELD – A woman heavily involved with the effort that opposed Dollar General’s plan to build at Mill Village Road and Routes 5 and 10 has asked the Selectboard to object to a highway access permit granted for the site.

Tolly Stark, co-chairperson of Deerfield for Responsible Development, has delivered a letter to the Selectboard  citing public safety and environmental concerns.

“These two parcels are not landlocked and have adequate frontage along Mill Village Road to accommodate driveways to and from the properties,” the letter reads. “As you know, there is a long history of serious traffic accidents at the intersections of Route 5, Mill Village Road and North Main Street.”

Stark also cites a Dec. 10, 2018, Planning Board meeting at which Kate Bednaz of Freshwater Wetland Services reported that she had identified “significant wetland resources in the state-owned right-of-way where a developer recently sought a highway access permit from MassDOT for a high-traffic driveway.”

Selectboard Chairman Henry “Kip” Komosa said he read the letter and “the town of Deerfield has no legal authority over that state highway, anyways.”

“The state has their own traffic engineers. They do the studies. They also send it out for peer review,” he said at the meeting. “But I think what makes this a moot point is that the curb cut that your talking about in that letter has been issued five years ago and it’s still there.”

Stark told Komosa there is an application for that curb cut and said there may have been an expiration date on the one Komosa was referring to. But Komosa said, “Curb cuts are good forever.” He said it is a permit to access a highway.

The Planning Board voted in December to deny Dollar General’s site plan following several contentious meetings on the subject.

Deerfield for Responsible Development wrote on its Facebook page a congratulatory message to its supporters and said the vote is “proof that a formula box store cannot come into our town and dictate or disregard our concerns, but instead must adhere to our bylaws and must respect our town and the best interests of its residents!”

But DRD Co-Chair Tim Hilchey said the vote did not necessarily mean an end to Lisciotti Development’s efforts to build a big box store in Deerfield. 

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 262.




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