BAPAC finds issues with additional Roots site plan

Barnes Aquifer map from the BAPAC website.

WESTFIELD, Mass. (The Westfield News) – The Barnes Aquifer Protection Advisory Committee (BAPAC) found it difficult to OK the plans for a land parcel’s use on Root Road for the Roots Athletic Complex as they were presented to them Tuesday.

The plans, which were presented to BAPAC by Bryan Balicki of Sage Engineering, were for a piece of land adjacent to the existing Roots complex to become a parking lot, as well as have a building placed there with a currently unspecified use. BAPAC members commented on the suggested plans, voicing concerns about the unspecified building use and questioned whether a parking lot alone could be permitted in the city.

“What we’re asking for is basically permission from [Westfield] Planning Board and your input on a full buildout,” Balicki said.

According to Balicki, the building’s use would be determined based on who becomes the tenant of the structure and there were currently no tenants. He also said that about 100 parking spaces would be created if the plan was approved, with some being used for the building being proposed, while the rest are used for the Roots Athletic Complex.

“The intent is that they want to use the parking lot while they try to find a tenant,” Balicki said.

BAPAC member Andrew Smith said that the plan should be revisited when the use is more complete, in particular the building that was proposed.

“As it stands it is just a parking lot,” he said.

“Without the information with what it would be used for this can’t even be considered,” Heather Miller, Westfield water systems engineer and BAPAC member, said.

Miller also commented that there were questions regarding where snow could be put off the property.

Balicki said that there were concerns that the process may end up going “round and round” if the building’s use was determined initially. He also said that they would come back in front of BAPAC once the tenant was determined to gain permission and feedback.

BAPAC’s chairperson Patti Gamborini made a motion to not “give permission” until the building’s use is known. She also stated that she would draft a letter of BAPAC’s findings and submit that.