Planning Board considers neighbors for Wal-Mart

By Bill Whelan and Anne Eisenmenger | Mar 25, 2014
Photo by: Anne Eisenmenger The proposed parcel on the corner of Tobey Road (bottom) and Route 28 (right)

In 2004 Scott Robertson bought 26 acres of land off of Route 28 and Tobey Road where he wanted to put a car dealership.

When that plan wasn't viable, Robertson, who has owned and operated Robertson's Auto Salvage on Route 28 with his family since 1969, sought another use for the land.

Through a commercial realty group, Robertson in 2009 leased 20 acres to Walmart to build a 157,000-square-foot Super Walmart.

"They didn't want to lose the market they had in East Wareham," Robertson said. "But they needed a superstore with a grocery." According to Walmart's 2010 annual report, 51 percent of its $258 billion in US sales came from its grocery business.

Construction of the Super Walmart is scheduled to begin this spring.

In leasing the land to Walmart, Robertson retained 3.4 acres at the corner of Route 28 and Tobey -- land that came to be known during the Walmart permitting process as "the outer parcel." Now Robertson, through the family's S&H Realty LLC, is proposing construction of two 5,000-square-foot restaurants and a 4,000 square foot retail building between them.

Robertson said he doesn't yet have any tenants but has been in talks with places such as Panera Bread, Buffalo Wild Wings and fast food restaurants. He noted that there are some establishments, such as gas stations and bars, that Walmart won't allow next to one of its stores.

In the first public outing for S&H's plans, the Planning Board Monday asked a lot of questions and requested that S&H return on April 14 with revised plans addressing some of the board's concerns.

Board members and two members of the Zoning Board of Appeals expressed concern about the location of the buildings on the property, the lack of a substantial buffer zone between the buildings and Route 28 and Tobey Road, and alleged conflicts with the already-approved Walmart plans.

ZBA member Michael Martin, saying he was speaking at the public hearing primarily as a private citizen, said the proposal fails to follow zoning regulations on the preservation of trees, has buildings that display their backsides and dumpsters to one of the access roads to Walmart, and shows the new development’s access roads as being over land reserved for “drainage swales” in the approved Walmart plans.

Planning Board Chair George Barrett described the proposed lighting as “probably inappropriate.”

Member John Cronan said of current landscaping plans: It’s “just going to make that corner crummy.”

S&H Real representatives agreed to make changes in their plans on the basis of Monday’s comments.

Comments (6)
Posted by: zinzindorff9 | Mar 26, 2014 11:13

Here again, this town needs a committee to walk new proposals through all the town depts. and expedite actual construction.


If we had  something like this a new Wall-Mart would be on the Tax roll today.


Stop hindering these projects, encourage them. The planning board and conservation commission are two of the causes of the towns present financial mess.   Come on old "townies" This is a great use for changing the way along  #28,  It's pretty sorry now with quarries, Trailer courts, and Truck parking areas.   "Further Study" is getting to be a common word around Town Hall these past years.  How about putting the "Welcome" sign out for all new projects instead of creating "road blocks," continually.

Posted by: MWF = Make Wareham Fail | Mar 26, 2014 12:02

Sounds to me like the planning board did its job and is holding the developer to the existing zoning standards.

Posted by: zinzindorff9 | Mar 26, 2014 18:25

Then please don't complain about an "over ride."

Posted by: MWF = Make Wareham Fail | Mar 26, 2014 21:38

I wasn't aware that I had.

Posted by: barnstorm | Mar 27, 2014 07:03

I'm the override complainee and it's one word by the way.

Posted by: AntiIdiot | Mar 31, 2014 09:12

The walmart is already going in there, plus all the other stores in front of it.  may as well add a few more, collect those tax dollars so us residents don't have to pay out.

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