WHITMAN — Businessman David Federico has another 30 days to work with Building Commissioner Robert Curran on finalizing a new 45-vehicle plan for his Diesel Trucks lot at 575 Bedford St. Renewal of Federico’s Class II Auto Dealers’ License hinges on completion of such a plan.
The board approved the extension by a 3-1 vote, with Selectman Daniel Salvucci voting against it.
Selectmen had given Federico six months to develop the plan after a proposed 60-vehicle lot was not accepted in March. After some delays, Federico’s lawyer E. Pamela Salpoglou of Stoughton said she had received the new site plan just prior to the Tuesday, Oct. 25 meeting. Quincy Civil Engineer Patrick Rosengrave designed the site plan.
Salpoglou said she had made some edits to Rosengrave’s plan and provided both site plans for the board’s reference. She suggested that, if the plan met the town’s requirements, another hearing on the matter could be avoided.
“Mr. Rosengrave has confirmed that we can easily fit 59 spots on the property, and as you are aware, my client came in looking for 60,” Salpoglou said. “I don’t know why he did not take into account the discussion we had at the last hearing, but he clearly, I think, has made a pretty good plan.”
She also indicated that Federico wishes to amend five parking spaces in one area of the lot toward the rear of the property near a stonewall.
“That would create a little bit more space for customers to turn around,” she said. Moving other spaces and consolidating still others would reduce the number of spaces to the 45 Selectmen required, Salpoglou said.
Curran said he visited the site again on Tuesday, Oct. 25 and there were 45 vehicles there and that an effort had been made to clean up the area. He took photos to provide to Selectmen.
There were 50 vehicles on the site Sept. 27, and those were not in approved spaces, Curran said noting that, “the site remained an eye-sore” at that time. A subsequent visit on Oct. 6 revealed that, “nothing has been done since the number of cars has been reduced to 45 and that most of the vehicles had been there “for several months.”
“There’s not a big exchange of the vehicles that are coming and going,” Curran said. “I don’t have anything else to report other than today it looked a lot better than it has.”
Curran said he had not seen the new site plan and could not comment on it, but if the board approved it, he would recommend the lot be kept to the site plan.
“Our building inspector’s going to have to spend some time with it, too,” Selectmen Chairman Dr. Carl Kowalski told Federico and Salpoglou.
Selectmen, following a discussion on the matter, agreed with Curran’s proposal to allow 30 days to move the vehicles to spaces outlined on the site plan so he could review it on the ground and come back to the board.
Salvucci was still not happy with the state of the lot or the state of vehicles now on it.
“Out of all  vehicles, how many are for sale?” Salvucci asked, to which Federico replied all of them are and that all of them will pass state inspection before they are sold.
“What I’m looking at here are vehicles that I don’t think are saleable, because I don’t think they’ll pass state inspection,” Salvucci said. “I don’t even know if they’ll all start.”
Federico said they will be serviced before sale.
“We buy used vehicles that need service, we service the vehicles and then sell them,” Federico said, noting he is storing the vehicles that won’t fit on a 45-vehicle lot at another facility. “A customer comes in, I drive them to the storage place, they get turned off, they say no and I lose a sale.”
Salvucci conceded that improvements have been made at this site but that he still has concerns about the product offered. Salpoglou assured the board that her client would not permit the sale of a vehicle that could not pass a state inspection and has been making an effort to make the lot more appealing.
Kowalski cut that discussion short, saying he didn’t want to repeat past discussions.
“The last eight licenses I had from the town of Whitman didn’t have any limit of the number of vehicles,” Federico said. “There were no stipulations.”
Town Administrator Frank Lynam said that was correct, noting that when a license is approved with an inventory limit, that number is noted on the license.
“For whatever reason, this particular license did not have a number on it and, when it was renewed the same language was used,” Lynam said.
In other business, Selectmen authorized Lynam to negotiate with companies with the aim of reaching a net metering agreement to give the town “a significant discount on the purchase of energy.” The vote also allows Lynam to enter into a 20-year agreement, once acceptable terms are reached.
Lynam said 20-year contracts are standard for the industry.