|North Adams Planners OK New Look For K-M, Dunkin'|
|By Tammy Daniels, iBerkshires Staff|
02:50AM / Wednesday, May 23, 2012
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Planners on Monday night approved a new look for the front of K-M Motors on Curran Highway and changes already implemented at Dunkin' Donuts.
The new facade planned for the front of K-M Motors on Curran Highway to better promote the Toyota brand.
Dennis Dubie of K-M said the new facade will be a portal promoting the Toyota brand, part of a marketing trend that the major dealers are pushing.
"Every manufacturer seems to be going with this brand image," he told the board, particularly after the bankruptcies of the larger American carmakers.
Toyota is pushing for more expansive branding, including new showrooms and larger portals, but the dealership was able to negotiate a more scaled-down version in tune with the area.
"Because of our specific market area and the longevity of K-M in this area ... we came up with an alternative proposal," Dubie said.
The new look will include the new facade, painting Toyota colors on the side of the building and removing "Motors" from the front. The roadside sign with the Toyota symbol won't change.
The board approved the permit modification but one planner was more approving of the way K-M had followed the process.
"I commend you for coming forth with this and telling the board what you intend on doing rather than coming to us after it's done," said Planner Joseph Gniadek.
Gniadek said his concern was that business owners were completing their projects, then coming to the board for approval. He pointed to the other permit modification before the board: Dunkin' Donuts at 5 Union St., which had slightly changed its color scheme last month.
"It puts us in a bind," he said.
Chairman Michael Leary disagreed, saying it puts the onus on the business. "Because if we don't like it they have to change it," he said. "It becomes a lot more difficult for them to change it."
Dunkin' Donuts new look, top; Dunkin's old look from a Google Maps snapshot.
Building Inspector William Meranti said his office felt Gniadek's frustration because the "financial burden typically hasn't happened" because the board's been lenient or liked the change.
Indeed, Planner Paul Hopkins thought the color change for Dunkin' Donuts "insignificant compared to what they had before."
Gniadek agreed that he, too, had no quarrel with the color. "I have nothing against it, but why are we here if they do what they want and expect us to rubber stamp it?" he asked.
No representative from Dunkin' Donuts was there. The new colors and a sign change, to show "steam" coming from a coffee cup, were approved.
In other business, the board approved a Form A application to combine two lots owned by Berkshire Family and Individual Resources.
It also briefly discussed the process for solar array permitting. Meranti questioned how it should be approached since in some cases the arrays aren't permanent structures because sit on ballasts. Leary thought a site plan review would be appropriate since panels could have an effect on topography and neighboring properties.
Monday's meeting had been postponed from the previous week to allow members to attend a presentation on the Open Meeting law. Only five members were in attendance, enough for a quorum only because there were no site plans or special permits to approve. Absent were Brian Miksic, Wayne Wilkinson, Donald Keagan and Joanne DeRose.