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3 Car Dealers Question CORI Checks, Reading

Traffic pattern to change at Barrows Elementary School; traffic at Planet Fitness to be reviewed 11 months after opening.

Three Reading businessmen complained to the selectmen Tuesday about a new local regulation.

The three sell used cars. Town Meeting this past spring adopted a bylaw that allows the police department to require people in certain businesses, including second-hand dealers, to submit to Criminal Offender Record Information – CORI --check.

But CORI checks are not required for holders of all classes of motor vehicle licenses, Kevin Brown from Brown’s told the selectmen. Requiring small business owners to submit to a CORI check – and a driving history record – is “unconscionable,” said Brown, who said he has been in business here for 32 years.

“We are overburdened” by regulations, said Charlie Gray. If car sellers who hold Class 2 motor vehicle licenses have to be CORI checked, he said, so should all town employees.

CORI checks are part of the bylaw because, Town Manager Peter Hechenbleikner said, of the sale of stolen car parts. If someone had an active criminal record, he continued, the selectmen could deny him a license.

These dealers’ licenses expire on Dec. 31. The bylaw takes effect in 2013, Hechenbleikner said.

The four selectmen at the meeting – Stephen Goldy, Ben Tafoya, Rick Schubert and James Bonazoli – agreed, without voting, to delay implementation of the bylaw and further discuss the matter in early January.

On another vehicle-related issue, Hechenbleikner responded to complaints that the Planet Fitness going in on Salem Street, in the former Registry of Motor Vehicles space, would further congest traffic there.

Planet Fitness has the permits to open now, Hechenbleikner said. Company representatives are due to meet again with the town’s Community Planning and Development commission 11 months after the health facility opens, he said, to review traffic.

In a vehicle-related vote, the selectmen authorized a change in the traffic pattern at the Barrows School. The board approved making Shelby Road one-way toward Arcadia Avenue, so all traffic coming to the school from Arcadia moves in the same direction, down Munroe Avenue to Shelby, rather than doing a two-way squeeze on Shelby.

The one-way limit will go in effect at school drop-off and pick-up time: weekdays, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 to 3:30 p.m., from Sept. 1 through June 30, when the signs go up.

In other action, the board approved business hour waivers for five businesses in town: 

  • 24 hours sales at the Shell Station on Walkers Brook Drive; 
  • a  5 a.m. opening weekdays, except state-designated holidays, at Dunkin Donuts at the West Street Mobil station and the Starbucks Coffees on Walkers Brook Drive and on Main Street; and
  • a 5:45 a.m. opening on weekdays at JK’s Market on Main Street.  

A town bylaw prohibits retail sales earlier than 6 a.m. without a waiver from the board.

Four times this year, police responded to reports of earlier- than- allowed activity at JK’s, according to information from the police department, three of a truck making deliveries one for an ongoing problem with a truck parking in the store lot.

The store owner is planning to divide the store in half and sell liquor in one half, Hechenbleikner told the selectmen.

The board also approved renaming the Reading Senior Center as the Pleasant Street Center. The name change is partly intended to draw younger seniors to the facility, according to Council on Aging Board member Steve Osten.

Whitney December 07, 2012 at 08:43 PM
In my opinion, PLANET FITNESS will be a very good neighbor and a welcome addition to the community. The parking situation when RMV occupied was nothing short of abysmal. Many of the spaces were used by the (too) many employees and were thus unavailable during the entire span of business hours. PLANET FITNESS visitors will be in and out within 60 minutes -- and they're very nice people who enjoy staying in shape at a very reasonable cost.
Joe Veno December 08, 2012 at 12:29 AM
@ Howie, Now Howie no need to get nasty you are getting all upset Of course I read where it has been delayed until January.. I did not say these businesses were moving out of Reading. Read my post again Howie. I really do not care if you like my comments or not on Patch. If these businesses did leave Reading they may just move to North Reading we are business friendly up here.
Fred Willard December 08, 2012 at 12:48 PM
it is amazing the BOS can say they are business friendly with a straight face.... Reading is the most unfriendly place to do business... take some advice.. .either move your business out or go to woburn or burlington....
Joe Veno December 09, 2012 at 12:47 AM
Whitney you are 100% correct. There will not be any traffic problems at all because of Planet Fitness. Planet Fitness traffic will flow fine..
Tom Jeffords December 09, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Before JK's does anything, the Board of Health should direct them to clean the place.

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