WESTFIELD – The Planning Board Feb. 18 unanimously approved the site permit for Walmart’s extended online pickup parking area after several continuations and changes were made to the plan.
At previous meetings, board members had expressed concerns about trucks driving around the back of the store from the truck entrance, through the pickup area, and asked that a barrier of some kind be put in place to prevent the through traffic.
Perry M. Petrillo, the architect of record, said that Walmart now plans to put in a double swing gate that locks in the center at the back corner of the store. He said they will work with the Fire Department to put in a lock box wherever they wish to put it.
Petrillo said they will also add “Do Not Enter” signs on the wall and on the ground in the area, along with truck entrance and exit signs at the street.
“I think we’ve addressed truck access behind the building,” Petrillo said.
Planning Board member Cheryl Crowe asked that the gate and signage be installed before the online delivery area launches. Petrillo said they would all be completed together.
Another concern of the board was that there would be no alcohol delivered with the online grocery pickup, which they were assured would not be a part of the service.
The store manager attended the meeting and said the online delivery includes food, grocery items, paper products, pet products, and most recently a dog cart. She said the store keeps adding items available for online pickup.
City Planner Jay Vinskey said from a site plan perspective, it doesn’t matter if online pickup is restricted to groceries, as long as there is no alcohol available, and the board agreed.
Board member Rich Salois asked whether trailers parked alongside the building long term had been addressed. Several members of the board, including chair William Carellas, had driven through the area before the meeting, and said they were gone and the place looked good.
Carellas thanked the Walmart representatives for working with them on their concerns.
“We thank you for the comments. In the end, it’s a better product,” Petrillo said.