Second vote on Gary Rome’s proposed zone change scheduled

12 May

HOLYOKE, Mass. (WWLP)- Holyoke’s ordinance committee is expected to vote Tuesday on a proposed zone change, which would allow a car dealership to be built on an 18-acre piece of land on Whiting Farms Road.

The land is on a busy roadway that connects Holyoke’s two largest shopping districts (the Holyoke Mall and KMart Plaza), but is also directly across the street from a residential neighborhood of Autumn Drive in Holyoke.

The zone change would allow Gary Rome, owner of multiple car dealerships in the region, to build a new dealership there.

Holyoke’s planning board unanimously recommended the zone change last month. During the that vote, residents told 22News they are concerned allowing a business highway zone will increase traffic and pave the way for big box stores.

The land is currently owned by Holyoke Gas and Electric, which has already agreed to sell this land to Rome for $2 million.

The zone change vote is scheduled for Tuesday night’s ordinance committee meeting. If passed, it goes to the City Council for a vote.