SOUTHWICK, Mass. (WWLP) – Contractors have requested to withdraw their special permit application for a large Carvana car processing facility in Southwick.
In a letter, developers informed the Southwick Planning Board of their request to withdraw without prejudice from the proposed Carvana car processing facility late Tuesday afternoon, hours before a scheduled public meeting where residents were expected to oppose the project.
The 200,000 square-foot car processing facility was planned for three properties in Southwick; 686 College Highway, 34 Feeding Hill Road, and 0 Feeding Hills Road. Traffic was a big concern for residents as the massive facility would have brought 2,600 vehicle trips and 90-car carrier trips to and from the site daily.
“Carvana is not welcome in Southwick,” said Zoe Falken of Southwick. “So if any of you are watching you are not welcome. please don’t ruin our community.”
The public hearing about Carvana’s proposed distribution facility has been long anticipated by those who oppose the Carvana project, and despite developers informing the planning board of their withdrawal on the project residents, say there are still many questions.
“Show the town the planning board and Carvana that there is still opposition to this that we really need to make sure that the facts are verified and that we understand what exactly this decision means,” said Maryssa Cook-Obregon, another Southwick resident.
Those questions stemming from a phrase in the developer’s letter to the Southwick planning board, which said they are requesting to withdraw without prejudice. This means they could re-file for the special permit in the future.
“I’d like to see them deny Carvana the special permit with prejudice so they cannot just come back and re-apply under whatever new scheme they are going to do,” said Falken.
22News attended the meeting Tuesday night and tried to interview the Planning Board Chairman Michael Doherty. He declined and also when asked, he said that no other members of the board were able to speak either.
The Southwick Planning Board did vote to accept the request to withdraw the special permit, so Carvana’s facility will not be coming to Southwick. Southwick residents say they will now focus on changing Southwick’s zoning laws to prevent something like this from happening again.