2008-12-17 / Front Page

Zoners OK plan for self-storage facility

BY REBECCA MORTON Staff Writer

MARLBORO — Beacon Hill Self-Storage will make its home on a piece of property at the corner of Tennent and Greenwood roads in the Morganville section of the community. The application received preliminary and final site plan approval from the Zoning Board of Adjustment with a 6-0 vote on Dec. 2.

The self-storage facility will house five buildings and will be open for key holders to access between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. A use variance for the self-storage facility was previously granted for the property, which is in a C-2 commercial zone.

At previous hearings attorney Salvatore Alfieri, who represented the applicant, said an area toward the rear of his client's property had been promised to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for its use during a cleanup at the Imperial Oil Superfund site which neighbors the parcel. It was noted at a hearing in June that truck volume to clean up the Imperial Oil site would go through the Beacon Hill Self- Storage property instead of passing on nearby residential streets.

Imperial Oil was declared a federal Superfund site in the early 1980s. The Superfund is a program through which toxic waste sites are cleaned up. Remediation work on-site and off-site has been undertaken at various times during the 25 years since Imperial Oil was identified as a contaminated location.

A small area of the Beacon Hill Self- Storage site had been identified as containing a low level of arsenic, Alfieri said. He said the EPA wants to take control of the remediation for the Beacon Hill property.

"They (EPA) have agreed, however, to undertake that cleanup themselves relatively quickly. It's not part of the funding that would clear the entire (Imperial Oil) project," Alfieri said, adding that the EPA has funding for small projects such as the arsenic cleanup.

There was also a concern about a drainage plan that would have water leave the site toward Orchard Street. Alfieri said the EPA would not let his client touch Orchard Street because it is unclear if there are any contaminants in the areas that would be disturbed.

He reported that the EPA has said it will perform a study of the areas along Orchard Street that would be disturbed by the Beacon Hill Self-Storage project in order to ensure there are no contaminants in the ground.

The estimate for having the areas of concern to the EPA taken care of is by spring 2009, the attorney said. Alfieri said if the board approved the site plan for the selfstorage facility it could do so with the condition that no construction will take place until the EPA has given its clearance.

Residents who live on Orchard Street would see the proposed self-storage buildings and board members were concerned about the aesthetics the homeowners would have. A retaining wall with a fence along the top will be visible to homeowners along Orchard Street. Board members requested that the fence be masked with plantings.

Board member Adrianne Spota said she would like to see creative minds come together to craft a landscape plan that will block the self-storage buildings from the view of nearby residents.

Project engineer Thomas Olenik said the applicant was open to different planting options and would work with Marlboro's professionals to come up with an effective plan.

During an ensuing discussion of the application the board members all spoke favorably of the project. The board's chairman, Glenn Malysz, said he believed the self-storage facility would be a benefit to Marlboro, especially since there is no other similar business in town.

Malysz, Spota, Matthew Weilheimer, Lewis Wildman, Michael Mahon and Jenn Bajar voted in favor of the application.

Contact Rebecca Morton at marlboro@gmnews.com

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