After an at-times heated application process, Milford-based restaurant Million Snacks can move ahead in planning for a location at the Firelite Plaza on the Boston Post Road. Million Snacks had been held up by the lack of a handicap ramp in building plans, a fact that led to contention from both sides. Planning and Zoning officials approved a version of the plans Tuesday night with a handicap ramp in place.
But Planning and Zoning chair Walter "Beau" Clark addressed Million Snacks franchisee Mohammad Khan before the approval, refuting statements Khan had made to Patch in September.
He said Khan's earlier allegations, that "maybe [the proposal was delayed] because my name is Mohammad," were "totally baseless and an insult to the honesty and integrity" of the commission and the town of Orange.
"Your statements were completely false," said Clark, "to say that we discriminated against you because your name was Mohammad. Furthermore, I can speak for this entire commission and this entire town: we don't care if your name is Mohammad, Moses, Jesus or anything else … Any problems here, sir, have been with you or the people you have hired -- nothing to do with the town of Orange."
Clark said the commission went out of its way to help Million Snacks, offering a presubmission meeting as the process began. Clark said zoning enforcement officer Paul Denise reached out to the engineering firm handling the plans Tuesday to help finalize the effort.
"To imply there was any prejudice against him was simply untrue," said Clark. "If you look at the application, the names on the sheet were Cohen & Associates, Malone & McBroom and All-American Constructions. To imply otherwise struck a nerve, honestly."
"I do wish him luck," said Clark. "And I hope his business is successful."
"I thank the entire town of Orange for their support and special thanks to Million Snacks management for their endless help," wrote Khan after the meeting. "At this moment I am here to assure all that once you taste Million Snacks pizza and grilled cheese you would love it and will keep coming back with your family and friends … The entire town of Orange will be my guest on [the] first day and we will have a known singer as our guest to entertain on [the] grand opening of Million Snacks pizza and grilled cheese."