July 7, 2015

Eight from CVU baseball are honored

Champlain Valley Union High’s standout 18-2 season resulted in seven players and head coach Tim Albertson gaining All-Metro honors from the coaches.

Albertson, after leading the Redhawks to the Division 1 championship game, was named the Metro’s Co-Coach of the Year, along with Milton High’s John Learned.

CVU’s pitcher-shortstop-slugger Rayne Supple, a senior, was chosen the Division’s Player of the Year.

On the Metro All-Star first team are first baseman Shea Ireland, center fielder Deagan Poland and pitcher Will Potter.

Sam Mikell, a junior, was named a second team pitcher. Senior catcher Dan Poodiack and designated hitter-first baseman Landon Carpenter are honorable mentions. Both are seniors.

—Mal Boright,
Observer correspondent

Williston’s Independence Day celebration

Observer courtesy image Marie-Claude Beaudette of Williston designed this year’s Fourth of July t-shirt. This year’s theme ‘Community Begins Here,’ was submitted by Lisa Sheltra, assistant public works director.

Observer courtesy image
Marie-Claude Beaudette of Williston designed this year’s Fourth of July t-shirt. This year’s theme ‘Community Begins Here,’ was submitted by Lisa Sheltra, assistant public works director.

SCHEDULE  OF EVENTS

FRIDAY, JULY 2

4 p.m. – 6 p.m. — Library book sale

Williston Central School Gym

For more information, contact Marti Fiske at the library at 878-4918. To volunteer, call the library.

6 p.m. — Firecracker 5k Fun Run

Williston Community Park

  Registration begins at 5 p.m.

  Race begins at 6 p.m.

  Cost is $10 (includes T-shirt)

Categories include male and female, with age groups: 12 and under; 13-19; 20-29; 30-39; 40-49; 50-59; 60-69 & 70+

  Race awards will be announced and given out during the band break at the Ice Cream Social

7 p.m. — Town band concert and ice cream social

Village Green

Come out and join the Williston Historical Society’s annual ice cream social as you listen to the town band play its first concert of the summer season. Ice cream $3, children under 5 free, to benefit Williston Historical Society

SATURDAY, JULY 3

9 a.m. – 2 p.m. — Library book sale

Williston Central School Gym

10 a.m. — Independence Day parade

NOTE: Route 2 parade route will be closed to through traffic from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Theme: “Community Begins Here”

Grand Marshal: Jenn Oakes, retired WCS physical education teacher and athletic director. She has served the community of Williston for 43 years.

Parade float organizer: Tony Lamb

Judges Stand: Town Hall

Parade Route: Route 2 along Williston Road from Johnson’s Farm to Old Stage Road

Categories: Best of Parade: Best Business; Best Individual/Neighborhood; Best Community Organization/Church; Judges Choice

10 a.m. – 1 p.m. — Williston-richmond rotary silent auction

Williston Central School

The Williston-Richmond Rotary Club is holding a silent auction fundraiser. Items up for bid include gift certificates for local restaurants, goods and services. Proceeds benefit the Williston-Richmond Rotary Club and its activities.

11 a.m. – 1 p.m. — Fire Department open house

Stop by the firehouse and check out the facility. Tours, car seat inspections and children’s safety activities plus fire extinguisher training from 11 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. and Jaws of Life demonstration at noon. Free hot dogs beginning at 11:30 a.m.

11 a.m. – 1 p.m. — Food vendors

The Village Green

  Hamburgers from Williston-Richmond Rotary

  Hot dogs from Williston Boy Scout Troop 692

Pulled pork barbeque, barbequed chicken, barbequed pulled squash and coleslaw from the Williston Federated Church

11:30 p.m. — Parade Awards Presentation

The Bandstand on the Green

11:30 p.m. – 1 p.m. — Children’s games

The Village Green

1 p.m. — Frog  Jumping Contest

Village Green

7 p.m. — entertainment

Allen Brook School

Music by the Timothy James Blues & Beyond Band, food vendors, face painting, Bounce Castle and more.

Very limited parking will be available at Allen Brook. A shuttle bus will be operating from Williston Central School for folks traveling from the village. Please take advantage of the shuttle to eliminate the parking crunch at Allen Brook. The shuttle will begin at 7 p.m. and will continue until shortly before the fireworks begin; it will begin returning shortly after the fireworks are complete.

9:30 p.m. — Fireworks display

Fireworks, by Northstar Fireworks, will begin at dark, anticipated start time is 9:30 p.m.

Rain date to be determined if weather is severe

ALL DAY

fill a police car

Williston Town Green

The Williston Community Food Shelf will collect donations of non-perishable current-date items, attempting to fill a police car parked on the Village Green.

For more information about any of the Fourth of July activities, contact the Williston Parks and Recreation Department at 878-1239 or [email protected]


This year’s fireworks

This year’s fireworks—purchased by the town from North Star Fireworks for $8,000, according to Town Recreation Director Todd Goodwin—will begin at approximately 9:30 p.m. Food vendors, glow necklaces, a bounce castle and more will be available at Allen Brook School before the show. There is limited parking at Allen Brook School, but a shuttle will run from Williston Central School before and after the fireworks beginning at 7 p.m.

The rain date for the fireworks will be announced on the town’s website if the weather is severe.


Art at the library

Williston artists are displaying their work at the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library in Williston in an exhibit that opened July 2. The exhibit will run through the month of July.

Twenty local artists plan to contribute work, said Debra Runge, who organizes the art show.

Residents who would like to submit their two-dimensional work for the exhibit can contact Runge at [email protected] or 879-4490. There is no theme this year.

Fourth of July festivities kick off Friday

Observer courtesy photo Jenn Oakes, longtime Williston Central School physical education teacher who retired this year, will be the parade’s grand marshal.

Observer courtesy photo
Jenn Oakes, longtime Williston Central School physical education teacher who retired this year, will be the parade’s grand marshal.

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff

Williston is getting ready to join Americans across the nation in celebrating Independence Day.

This is Recreation Director Todd Goodwin’s first year organizing the festivities, and he said he’s heard plentiful praise for Williston’s celebration.

“From what I’ve heard, all aspects of the July Fourth events and activities are special and worthwhile for everyone to come out and be part of the community and this special event,” he said.

So far, he added, things are falling to place.

The town selected the theme “Community Begins Here” for this year’s celebration, picked from residents’ idea submissions.

The town’s events begin Friday night with the opening of the annual library book sale. The two-day event begins July 3 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Williston Central School gym.

“We have plenty of donated books. It will be another good sale,” said Ann Park, secretary and treasurer of the Friends of the Dorothy Alling Memorial Library.

Hardcover books are $1.50, paperbacks 75 cents. Children’s books are 25 cents for paperbacks and 50 cents for hardcovers.

“You can buy 10 hardcover books for under $20—that’s what one costs at a bookstore or on a Kindle,” Park said. “You also support the library. The money gets cycled right back into the library for the community.”

The Friends of the Library are still looking for volunteers.

“The biggest need is when the sale ends at 2 on the Fourth,” Park said. “Any books that didn’t get sold, we have to put in boxes and put on pallets. Usually there are not many people around then.”

Friday night’s events include the Firecracker 5K Fun Run. Registration begins at 5 p.m. at the Williston Community Park, and the starting gun sounds at 6 p.m. Also on Friday night, the annual ice cream social and Town Band concert begins at 7 p.m., hosted by the Williston Historical Society. Ice cream is $3 per person, free for those under 5.

The Fourth of July is packed with Williston activities.

The book sale reopens at 9 a.m. and goes until 2 p.m. The parade will wind along Vermont Route 2A from Johnson’s Farm to Old Stage Road from 10 to 11 a.m. Anyone who would like to take part in the parade is encouraged to sign up on the Parks and Recreation Department’s website, www.willistonrec.org. All are welcome.

Prizes will be awarded for Best of Parade, Best Business, Best Individual/Neighborhood, Best Community Organization and Judges Choice.

After the parade, activities and food concessions will be held on the village green. There will be children’s games, face painting, inflatables and the annual frog jumping contest.

The Williston Community Food Shelf is also hosting a “Fill a Police Car” food drive. Residents are encouraged to bring non-perishable, undamaged, in-date food items to donate.

The Williston Fire Department will host an open house on July 4 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The open house includes station and fire truck tours, fire extinguisher training from 11 to 11:45 a.m., car seat inspections, children’s safety activities and a Jaws of Life demonstration at noon. The station will serve free hot dogs and drinks starting at 11:30 a.m.

In the evening, residents can gather for the fireworks, which begin at dark—organizers estimate the start time at 9:30 p.m.—at Allen Brook School. Before the fireworks go off, the Timothy James Blues & Beyond Band will entertain the crowd.

Residents should park at the Williston Central School—saving the limited parking at Allen Brook School for those who need it—and utilize the free shuttle running from the school from 7 p.m. until dark, then back again after the show.

Little Details: Time to move on to the next chapter

By Katherine Bielawa Stamper

The telephone call from the then-editor of the Williston Observer caught me a little off guard.

“Are you a writer?”

“No, I’m a…a…mom.”

“I don’t normally tell people this, but you write well…really well.”

I never thought of myself as a writer. I just always wrote. I was genuinely surprised when my CCV instructor suggested I submit one of my essays to a newspaper. It was 2004 and I was taking a writing class for fun. I was even more surprised when the editor of the Williston Observer responded by offering me a gig as a columnist.

Writing is my therapy. Writing is my way to make sense of the world. I fill journals with notes from news articles, identifying topics to learn more about. I compile lists of books to read and films to see. I jot down quotes that inspire and copy short excerpts from books, plays and poetry. I revisit those entries, taking time to fill in knowledge gaps.

In a world of electronic pings, tweets and Twitter, I still sit down to correspond with friends in old-fashioned ink. Forming letters in curvaceous cursive is a decidedly different experience from tapping on a keyboard. I can and must “do” social media, but placing pen to paper is my preferred modality.

When my daughter attended Allen Brook and, later, Williston Central School, I packed notes in her lunch bag along with sandwiches and animal crackers. Sometimes, I included quotes by Helen Keller, Eleanor Roosevelt or some other strong woman—role models to ponder along with her peanut butter and jelly.

I leave notes for my husband on the kitchen counter all the time. Some are sweet. Others are entirely utilitarian, having to do with groceries, doctor’s appointments or even the dump.

At work, I prefer composing emails to telephoning. Email also creates a cyber trail, which, I’ve learned, can come in handy in sometimes sticky work situations.

I’d rather write a solitary grant proposal than work on a “group” project. It’s cool to think I’m paid to do research and writing—something I already do for free.

The first essay I submitted to this newspaper was a homework assignment about a chance encounter. I wrote of meeting an elderly man at a Burlington copy shop while making copies for an ELF (now, Four Winds) workshop on spiders at Allen Brook School. As I waited to copy various arachnid appendages, I was silently losing patience with the slow-moving, elderly man in front of me with stacks of papers to copy.

Then, we started talking. I learned he was copying historical documents relating to his older brother’s death at the Battle of the Bulge in France in 1944. His brother never came home. I told him American soldiers liberated my dad in Europe in 1945. Our bond was solidified.

I realized this was far more than a “chance” encounter and felt compelled to write about it. My new friend finished his copies. We said goodbye. He returned several minutes later just as I was finishing with that final spider part; he handed me a bag of candies. “For your daughter,” he said. This kindly gentleman passed away a few years after our meeting and I was able to send his sister a copy of the essay he inspired.

This column has been about encounters—with people, places and history. Readers have accompanied me inside Vermont’s prison for women, along an impossibly long line for toilet paper in communist Poland and on a train crossing the imposing Berlin Wall. I’ve commented on elections and military interventions as well as the historical roots of fruitcake and gingerbread.

I wrote about topics that genuinely moved me, including the everyday nuts and bolts of trying to find one’s way in work, play and parenting. It’s been a privilege. An occasional note from a reader or comment in the grocery store made me smile. Most folks have been cordial, even if they disagreed with my liberal leanings. A kindly Williston Town Father of more conservative views told me the column made him “consider things” he might not have otherwise thought about. Isn’t that what we—in a civil society—should strive to do for each other?

My family’s decision to downsize and move to Burlington brings Little Details to its logical conclusion. Deadlines have been a gift—forcing me to write when “life” could easily have gotten in the way. My departure creates opportunities for new Williston voices to tell their tales as I ponder next steps in my writing. My final Little Details column will appear on Thursday, July 16.

I am reminded of a question from another Williston Observer editor who, upon his departure to move out West asked, “So, when are you going to write that book?”

Maybe now is that time.

Thank you for reading.

Katherine Bielawa Stamper, a Williston resident, is a former finalist for the Coolidge Prize for Journalism for writings on civility.  Reader comments are welcome at [email protected] or [email protected]

Zero tolerance

By Lee Rosenberg

My husband and I used to traverse the many bike routes of Vermont with total peace of mind and pure joy, our senses exploding with all nature has to offer.  Now it is with a heavy heart that I write this editorial.

The recent, tragic deaths of three cyclists on Vermont’s idyllic roads have left me with a wide range of emotions and many sleepless nights. I cannot imagine coming upon the scene of my husband’s death, with my children in the car, as happened to the family of Dr. Kenneth Najarian recently on Greenbush Road.  Similarly, weeks before, Kelly Boe’s wife witnessed his death as they were biking in Weybridge. Also bearing mention is the loss of lives of both the driver, Joseph Marshall, and cyclist, Richard Tom, in a horrendous crash on Route 116.

My husband and I have cycled on all of these roads and I have, on more than one occasion, had to stop to gather myself as I was so overwhelmed by the beauty and tranquility of surroundings that were literally in our own backyard. We lost valuable and loved members of our community, two from the decision of individuals to drive under the influence and one as the result of excessive speed and reckless driving.

I have thought long and hard about what can be done to make our roads safe for all users. One thing I have never liked is having the traffic behind me as I cycle.  The widening and cleaning of bike lanes is not going to protect a biker from a car being driven well over the speed limit with loss of control, a person distracted by cell phone and the ubiquitous drunk driver. I feel I would have a fighting chance if I saw what was coming at me. The Hinesburg Chief of Police said it takes bravery to participate in a sport in which the traffic is behind you.

Education seems to be the route we have always taken to avoid catastrophes, such as we have experienced in the past weeks. I think we need more. Our roads lend themselves to speeding and are often curvy and poorly patrolled. When I was a teenaged driver in Massachusetts, we always knew what towns and what states not to speed in, not because we feared for our lives or that of others, but rather because we did not want to incur huge fines and loss of licenses. In Vermont, there are many towns with limited or no police coverage.

Lastly, I am tired of the slap-on-the-wrist attitude for first DUI offenders. If someone took a gun to the Burlington Square Mall and just shot it at the ceiling with no injury or death resulting, leniency would not be extended even for a first offense. When a driver gets behind the wheel drunk, he is armed, locked and loaded.

In summary, I would like to see bikers lawfully allowed to ride facing traffic in areas with minimal pedestrian activity, more police presence and ticketing with high fines, especially on high school routes such as 116 and the Shelburne Hinesburg Road (fines would more than pay for increased police salaries) and lastly a zero tolerance for drunk drivers, a law that would have to be carefully constructed.   

Vermont is one of the healthiest states in the Union, ahead of the game with GMOs and smoking bans. The state is not keeping up with creating laws that protect an ever-increasing population using main and back roads for multiple purposes in multiple ways. I would like to be able to enjoy all that Vermont has to offer, especially while cycling and not, as others have stated, wonder every time I go for a bike ride if it will it be my last.

I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere condolences to the families who recently suffered the excruciating, sudden loss of their loved ones and to let them know that we grieve with them.

Lee Rosenberg is a resident of Shelburne.

Academic Honors

Locals graduate

The following Williston students graduated from their colleges or universities.

Alex Luke Arsenault received a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Norwich University

Pamela Booth received a Master of Science in environmental and natural resource economics from the University of Rhode Island

Joseph Matthew Myers earned a Doctor of Physical Therapy from Utica College

Residents named to deans’ lists

The following Williston residents were named to the dean’s or president’s list at their college or university.

Erin O’Brien, University of New Hampshire

Ezekiel A. Geffken, Saint Michael’s College

Julie Ho, Saint Michael’s College

Lida H. Lutton, Saint Michael’s College

Josiah R. Parker, Western New England University

Eric A. Robinson, Saint Michael’s College

Tino A. Tomasi, Saint Michael’s College

Paige A. Watson, Clemson University

Evans reflects on changes at CVU

By Mal Boright

Observer correspondent

In the world of television, they might call it, “Moving On Up.”

For Jeff Evans, leaving the Champlain Valley Union High principal’s office is another step in a career in education that began when he became CVU’s boys varsity basketball coach in 1991.

Evans began his new position with the Chittenden South Supervisory Union as director of student learning on July 1.

This comes following two years as CVU principal and two previous years as house director. Prior to the move into administration, there were 18 years of teaching English, plus various positions coaching sports.

“I already miss the classroom,” he said during an interview last week. “It is that which I love the most.”

He added that the new position is “work…that can have a huge impact on the lives of students.”

In his new role, Evans will continue building on the foundation he developed during his two years as principal. In those two years, he has been a key figure in the transformation of teaching methods at the high school—focusing on the needs of each individal, whatever those might be.

He described the changed emphasis as helping students adapt and learn well through more creative thinking and also by becoming great collaborators.

It is no secret that these are the types of skills being sought by large companies as they recruit new employees.

The new approach, Evans said, has some links to Common Core “in the way some strategies are being implemented on a larger scale.”

Common Core, controversial in parts of the nation, is aimed primarily at mathematics and reading.

“We keep the best interests of the student at the center of what we do,” Evans added.

Vermont’s state government has mandated some of the changes that CVU has been phasing in for the past two years, which gives the school a leg up on the processes.

“Our faculty has been wonderful in approaching this work,” he said.

Evans said the changes at CVU were encouraged rather than force-fed to the faculty.

“Asking people to shift their mindsets and what they have experienced,” he said, does take time.

EDUCATION BY WAY OF SPORTS

Evans’ own education had an interesting early turn. After his sophomore year at the University of Vermont (his grandfather Fuzzy Evans was UVM basketball coach through the ‘50s and ‘60s), Evans left college and became a professional baseball umpire, rising through the lower leagues to the Triple A level, one rung below the majors. He was a man in blue for 10 years.

Umpiring was an education in itself.

“It gave me an appreciation of things to value and appreciate,” Evans said of his years as an on-the-field arbiter. “You learn how to deal with people who are not happy.”

He said he met a lot of characters in the minor leagues, many of whom did not last long.

Evans returned to the state and finished his degree at Norwich University in Northfield, where he did some baseball coaching. In 1991, he took the boys basketball job at CVU and two years later completed his teaching certification and became an English instructor at the high school.

Then, in his two years as a house director, Evans performed functions similar to that of a vice principal—student discipline, student-parent-school relationships.

And so, considering his many roles in education, what does Evans consider essential in good teaching?

Acknowledging that for students and parents, an answer might likely be based on individual experience, Evans said a good teacher has to “be dedicated to meeting the needs of all students.”

He went further, saying the teacher “must believe in developing relationships, be resourceful, knowledgeable and have a growth mindset.”

As for the big picture, Evans said that education is not evolving as fast as business, but change is coming—just very slowly.

Feds greenlight GlobalFoundries acquisition of IBM Microelectronics

By Anne Galloway

For Vermont Digger

GlobalFoundries has received approval from the federal government to acquire IBM Microelectronics, the company said in a news release.

The acquisition includes IBM’s global commercial semiconductor technology business, 16,000 patents, three facilities in the Northeast and 8,000 employees.

GlobalFoundries announced Wednesday morning that the deal had been finalized. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, an inter-agency committee overseen by the U.S. Treasury secretary, approved the deal Monday.

IBM is paying GlobalFoundries $1.5 billion over three years to take over chip manufacturing operations in Vermont, and Malta and East Fishkill, New York.

For the full story, visit:    vtdigger.org

Buttered Noodles closing its doors

By Stephanie Choate

Observer staff

After nearly 15 years serving the children of Williston and surrounding towns, Buttered Noodles is closing.

Owner Alan Levi said he is ready to retire after 35 years in the business, trading 70- to 80-hour work weeks for time weeding the garden.

“I’ve reached my twilight where I don’t want to work that hard,” Levi said Wednesday morning. “I’ve earned a break.”

Buttered Noodles, formerly known as KidSurplus, moved from Boyer Circle to Harvest Lane in 2010, becoming a one-stop shop for children’s clothing, toys, accessories and activities.

Levi said he has been thinking of closing the store for about a year and though it was a tough decision, it was the right one.

“This is a happy going out of business,” he said. “Williston’s been great. I think it’s been symbiotic. I think I’ve worked well with the community. We’ve had five events a week. I’ve built a lot of goodwill and trust with the community, and they, in turn, supported me well.”

Levi said the store will likely remain open through the month of July, though sale-priced inventory is moving fast.

He added that he is looking for someone to carry on the Buttered Noodles legacy, though possibly in a different location.

Levi also thanked his wife, Dande Levi, and his staff, many of whom have worked at the store for more than 20 years.

“It’s been an honor serving the community,” he said. “I’ve made a lot of friends, both business and personal, through the store.”

Can Taft Corners be foot-friendly?

Project highlights challenge of making busy retail district walkable

By Adam White

Observer correspondent

Is Williston’s vision of a more pedestrian-friendly Taft Corners more idealistic than realistic?

A sizeable project currently moving through the early stages of development in the town’s busiest retail zoning district is raising questions about what it would take—if it is even possible—to entice visitors into parking in one place and visiting multiple, separate businesses on foot.

The proposed project comprises multiple buildings offering retail and restaurant services on Lot 26, adjacent to AC Moore and across Retail Way from PetSmart. Though a significant portion of the plan involves the construction of more than 250 new parking spaces, the designers are hoping that other features such as wide, inviting sidewalks and clear lines of sight between buildings will help convert the traditional car congestion that has plagued the area into foot traffic.

“Will people be encouraged by this design to park once and walk more than once, between stores?” Senior Planner Matt Boulanger asked during his staff presentation of DP 15-18 to the Development Review Board on June 23. “Aren’t they going to just drive between everything, and won’t it feel congested?”

Even as developer Jeff Nick of Taft Corners Associates pointed out design elements aimed at promoting pedestrian travel within the proposed development, DRB member John Hemmelgarn said the concept would require a shift in mentality not only for future customers, but those involved in the review process as well.

“It’s really hard for us to all talk and think about this as a walking path through that area, because of the way it has been for so long,” Hemmelgarn said.

Hemmelgarn said one key would be the proximity of the site’s separate retail and restaurant elements to one another.

“I think there are some real possibilities here,” Hemmelgarn said. “You end up having kind of pedestrian connections. From each spot, you have to create the next destination. If it’s too far away, nobody is going to want to go there.”

Planning Commission member Mike Alvanos—who was helping fill in on the undermanned DRB —said that when he and his wife make a grocery shopping trip to Hannaford on Marshall Ave., they will often look for nearby restaurants they can visit without having to move their vehicle.

“We have three options we can go to, and we can walk there,” Alvanos said. “But if you make it easy for me to just jump in my car, I’m going to.”

But proximity alone isn’t likely to change shoppers’ habits of driving from one destination to another, rather than walking. A trip to the Taft Corners area on Tuesday showed that other factors contribute to the auto traffic issue.

After loading pet food into her vehicle in the parking lot of PetSmart, Julia Nesbit of Williston said such trips would be far more difficult if conducted from one central parking location further away.

“I just got 24 cans and a 40-pound bag, so walking a long way to the car would not have been fun,” Nesbit said.

Another shopper, Ben Gardiner of Burlington, had left his vehicle in the AC Moore parking lot while visiting Moe’s Southwest Grill for lunch. As he waited to re-cross the street back to his car, he questioned whether even such a simple consolidation of tasks was worth it.

“The way people drive through here, it can be pretty scary trying to walk around,” Gardiner said. “I wouldn’t even try to cross (Marshall Ave.) and go to any of the stores over there. The traffic is just non-stop, people turning everywhere and not paying any attention to people walking.”

Gardiner then pointed back toward the Moe’s parking lot, which appeared to be at least three-quarters empty.

“If you can get a space right in front of where you’re going, why wouldn’t you drive there?” he asked.

The idea that even ample parking may discourage pedestrian travel is especially relevant with the proposed Lot 26 project, as parking has been a much-discussed issue during the pre-application process.

Part of the plan is to reroute Retail Way from its existing location, around a new restaurant and in front of the largest building within the new development. This was necessary to satisfy one of the town’s design requirements.

“If you can’t bring the building to the street, bring the street to the building,” Boulanger said.

Angled parking along the newly located Retail Way would be supplemented by a substantial lot just to the north, adjacent to the lot that currently services PetSmart. DRB member Brian Jennings suggested that the board might have an issue with such an expansive stretch of nothing but asphalt and painted lines.

“We’re going to look at this and see this big sea of parking that’s right across from the building,” Jennings said. He later asked whether the new development could share parking with existing tenants who appear to have an overabundance of it.

“Most of the time, parking lots are very empty” around PetSmart and other neighboring businesses, Jennings said. “Obviously, during the holidays it’s a lot different, but a great deal of the time they’re underutilized.”

Nick said he would need to speak with those existing retailers to get them to “buy into the concept” of sharing their parking lots.

“Right now, they control all that parking,” Nick said. “We can’t just take it away and use it for other things.”

The project’s pre-application review resulted in the DRB granting unanimous approval on June 23, with various conditions included to address streetscape/density, urban feel, sidewalks and parallel vs. angled parking.