Towing Company Backs Out Of Bourne Planning Board Request

Cape Cod Muscle & Speed has put on hold a planned move to a new base of operations on MacArthur Boulevard. The vehicle towing and recovery company will remain, for the time being, at its current home on Clay Pond Road.

The company has the property at 530 MacArthur Boulevard currently under a purchase and sale agreement. It submitted applications to the Bourne Planning Board for special permits that would allow it to continue using “a non-conforming side setback and existing paved parking area within a 50-foot setback from MacArthur Boulevard.”

It also requested that it be allowed to use an already existing building on the property in which to store towed vehicles.

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Attorney Robert W. Parady went before the Bourne Planning Board on July 10 representing the company and said that he was withdrawing all applications brought before the planners. Board chairman Christopher J. Farrell asked Mr. Parady if he was requesting a continuance or a withdrawal. Mr. Parady said he was seeking a withdrawal, and his request was unanimously approved.

“Sometimes you have to read the tea leaves,” he said.

He said that typically he waits until the hearing is underway and he has heard from board members before deciding to withdraw. Last Thursday, however, he had a feeling “right off the bat” that they were not going to get the votes needed for approval. He noted that for the special permits the company was requesting, it would need six affirmative votes out of the nine members on the board.

“I was concerned we didn’t have six votes, so the safer thing to do was to withdraw and recoup,” he said.

Despite opting to withdraw, Mr. Parady said he felt that he had met the legal burden for the requested permits. He mentioned that the company was given conditional approval for its intended use of the property by the Bourne Water District in September of last year.

Mr. Farrell said he was not surprised that the company opted to pull all its applications to the planning board. He said that if the company had gone through with the hearing and not received the necessary six affirmative votes for approval of its requests, it would be another two years before it could come back before the board.

“It would have been dead in the water for two years,” he said.

By withdrawing, it can reapply and go back before the board as early as the following week.

“It’s a procedural thing. It happens all the time. Others do it and come right back,” he said, adding that withdrawing gives the applicants a chance to regroup.

Mr. Farrell said that town zoning regulations do not allow for the property to be used in the way that Cape Cod Muscle & Speed would like without some kind of variance or special permit from the planning board.

“The big issue is they’re in a water resource area, and the orange book [the zoning bylaw manual] says you can’t do certain things in a water resource area,” he said.

He confirmed Mr. Parady’s assertion that six votes would be needed for approval of the applications.

“They didn’t want to take a chance,” he said.

Mr. Farrell added that Douglas H. Shearer, who resigned from the planning board that same night, likely would have been one negative vote. Mr. Shearer admitted in his resignation announcement that he believed in following the town’s zoning regulations in making his decisions.

Mr. Parady said that he did not know when he and his clients would go back before the planning board.

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