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Herb Chambers dealership planned for Derby Street corridor

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  August 20, 2013 05:10 PM

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Herb Chambers is making moves to develop a vacant piece of land across from the Derby Street Shoppes, and the car dealership could be operating in 18 to 24 months.

According to a release from the company, the recently opened Lexus of Norwell is scheduled to move to the Derby Street corridor within the next two years, and will feature a showroom and service department.

Though the project may seem a ways off, approvals are already being sought through Hingham's Zoning and Planning boards for permission to develop the space.

“This is actually probably going to be our fourth hearing on this. It’s been going on quite a while,” Hingham Planning Director Mary Savage Dunham said of the two boards' next joint meeting on Sept. 11. She said that meetings about the property started in June.

According to Savage Dunham, the applicant is seeking several permits, including a special permit to develop a dealership where it is not typically zoned, and approval of different dimensions for each parking spot. Herb Chambers is also seeking a site plan review.

A timeline for approval is still unknown.

“I think we’ll know more after this [Sept. 11] meeting,” Savage Dunham. “If the boards feel they have the answers they need, they could theoretically vote at this meeting, I’m just not sure if all their questions will be answered.”

An Herb Chambers spokeswoman did not have any further details about the development, but attorney Jeffery Tocchio said Conservation Commission meetings have been ongoing. The next conservation meeting is Aug. 26.

A traffic study has also been completed to determine the impact on the roadway, Savage Dunham said.

Though there have been some whisperings of a larger traffic development, such as building a connecting road to Route 53, Town Projects Engineer Roger Fernandes was unaware of any such provisions that were part of the current proposal.

“I think right now the only thing before the town is that project as related to that property. I’m not aware of any larger project at this point,” he said.

The project will run concurrently to state plans of redeveloping the roadway to improve traffic congestion and pedestrian and bicyclist safety.

Fernandes said he is planning the 25 percent design specifications for the roadway for a Planning Board meeting on Sept. 16.

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