Commuter rail parking: Public invited to comment on MBTA parking issues; Fitzgerald’s vote continued

Above: A local store owner is still looking to add a private pay for parking lot by the commuter rail, while our state senator is looking to better understand safety issues with the state’s lot. (Photo by Beth Melo)

Monday night, a representative for Fitzgerald’s updated the Planning Board on their plans for a proposed pay-lot for commuters. Town Planner Jennifer Burney took advantage of the audience to make an announcement about the MBTA’s lot.

Senator Jamie Eldridge will be visiting the MBTA Commuter Rail stop in Southborough on Friday, October 2nd at noon. Burney and Town Administrator Mark Purple will be accompanying him on a site visit of the parking lot.

According to Burney, our state senator is following up on concerns reported about safety issues for people trying to cross back to the MBTA lot. She invited the public to join them.

Burney also encouraged anyone who couldn’t attend but had concerns to submit comments in advance. (You can email Burney at

As for Fitzgerald’s proposed lot, the pubic hearing was positive in tone. But the board wasn’t ready to vote without more changes by the applicant.

Eengineering consultant Kenneth Lania walked the board through changes made in response to comments from the Town’s consultants. New plans addressed issues raised about traffic, landscaping, lighting, etc.

One improvement was moving the pay-lot entrance to the inside of Fitzgerald’s current parking lot. By reducing the proposed parking spots from 73 to 70, they allow for up to five vehicles to queue to the entrance without impacting traffic on Southville. 

The only public comment made was in support of the revised plan. Brian Witzell of Southville Road said that after extensive conversations with owner Vinnie Patel, he and his wife were satisfied with the plan:

It will be a lot cleaner than it is now, I hope.

Members had questions on specifics of the plan. Chair Don Morris asked the applicant to request an extension of the approval date for them to follow up on some “homework” from the board. One item was looking at the access for the loading zone. Another is to submit an application to split the lot, though both will be owned by Patel. (According to Lania, the Zoning Board of Appeals previously turned down their request for split-use on the single lot a few years back.)

The hearing is continued to the next Planning Board Meeting, Monday, October 5th at 7:00 pm.

For more information on the plans, click here for the Planning Board’s uploaded documents related to the application.

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