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Committee Backs Zoning Change for Car Dealer

The Kia dealership is expected to bring 30 to 40 "good-paying jobs" to Attleboro.

Attleboro City Councilors announced their preliminary support on Tuesday to change the zoning of a South Attleboro property so a Kia auto dealership could be built there.

A City Council committee voted 3-0 to approve the request by local businessman John Martins for a residential-to-commercial zoning change of a vacant 3.25-acre site on Newport Avenue between Horton and Irving avenues. The full council will vote on the adjustment next week.

Several councilors, including those not on the committee, spoke in favor of the adjustment. Councilor Richard Conti said it made sense because surrounding properties are commercial.

"From that point north to the junction of [Routes] 1A and 1, it's all business ... it is a continuous use of the same type of land," Conti said.

Martins, who owns the nearby  told the council at a March public hearing that he was instructed by both car companies to split the business. He does not currently own the Newport property, which was once a salvage yard, but plans to buy it if the zoning change were approved.

Councilor Jay DiLisio said on Tuesday that he believed supporting the change went against allegations that Attleboro was anti-business.

"I think this is a great thing for the city, and I think going forward, this is just step one of more businesses that are going to want to come in and invest in Attleboro's future," DiLisio said.

Martins told the council in March that he planned to spend $3 million on the project and that it would create 30 to 40 "good-paying" jobs, with locals getting the first chance to receive them. Councilor Peter Blais praised this aspect of the project.

"The automobile industry isn't the grease monkey industry it used to be," Blais said. "They pay decent money for technicians today, and it's not all entry levels; it's jobs with some decent salaries."

Steven Scott May 10, 2012 at 08:43 PM
So they can't get together on a simple Farmers Market, but yet another car dealer flies right through?
k May 11, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Really! we need another car dealership in South Attleboro not to mention another business along route 1 If there are no jobs and no money, who is supposed to support all these new businesses? I notice the folks that want to build and add to the mess along route 1 do not live in the city but, in a nice quiet place which the folks of south Attleboro used to have it's a disgrace !!!!
Fact Checker May 11, 2012 at 09:16 PM
According to Patch editorial staff, your comment is without merit as you did not disclose your name.
Jonathan Friedman (Editor) May 12, 2012 at 01:27 AM
No, "fact checker," the comment is not without merit, but it would have more strength if the person would identify himself/herself. I do not understand why you enjoy attacking others throughout the site, but lack the courage to identify yourself.
John Foley May 12, 2012 at 12:32 PM
That piece of land that Conti is referring to is adjacent to more than one neighborhood. I live in one of them, and it's just a shame to see. We have a great example of a city like Providence, who for the most part don't give out permits for cookie cutter fast food restaurants, and make an effort to stand out with lots of homegrown businesses---many of which are in zones assigned for both commercial and residential. That would be nice to see around here, too. But, instead, we're in a situation where the local BBQ joint is replaced by a nationwide pancake 'restaurant'. Across the street from my neighborhood is a sea of fast food restaurants. During the summer, there are safety concerns around noon when droves of kids cross the street (to consume unhealthy food). Do we really want a vast area of town essentially dedicated to car dealerships and fast food restaurants? I’m not sure 'get fat and don't walk anywhere' are where we want to be going as a community with an obesity problem. People are products of their environment, and there's a certain responsibility that the community has, to foster a positive environment. This area needs diversification, not sameness. Because if you put enough crap in one small area, you can officially call it a dump.
pablo May 13, 2012 at 01:17 PM
At least there is not a 4 lane highway running through the middle of this dealership site. Maybe it will cut down on the fatalities!
Brandy Mac May 14, 2012 at 07:42 PM
I wish the value on my house in this exact neighborhood hadn't dropped over 150k in 6 years so I could move out of this DUMP. Car lots, porn shops, fast food - OH MY! Sounds like the "City Council committee" needs their priorities put in check.

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