STOW (CBS) – A proposed military museum is taking its battle to court, after town leaders vote down its expansion.
The Collings Foundation was founded as a non-profit in the late 1970s. Over time, it’s amassed hundreds of artifacts.READ MORE: Major Winter Snow Storm With Blizzard Conditions Possible Saturday
“Antique cars, race cars, aircraft, military vehicles – and they all are important to U.S. history,” said foundation president, Rob Collings.
Three weekends a year, the public is invited to see Al Capone’s Cadillac, a Duesenberg, a WWII Sherman tank and Hitler’s Panzer One.
“We have a PT 17 Stearman, which was a primary trainer used during WWII. This particular one was flown by the famed Tuskegee Airmen. There are two left in the world – one is in the Smithsonian and one is in the collection here,” said Collings.
The Collings Foundation has plans to expand and build the American Heritage Museum, a 69,000 square foot museum. It would be open three days a week, six months a year, and would include a private entrance from the main road.
“It’s been a struggle,” said Collings.
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The Planning Board voted to deny the expansion in late July, rejecting the foundation’s argument that it’s protected under the Dover Amendment, a state law exempting agricultural, religious, and educational corporations from certain zoning restrictions.
Board members argued the use of the property wasn’t educational enough to justify the expansion.
“I love the idea of the museum, but this is a residential neighborhood,” said neighbor Mike Schultz.
Shultz is one of dozens of neighbors fighting the museum. His back yard abuts the property.
“It will literally ruin our lives… the noise is crazy. It’s hundreds of machine guns 100 feet that way,” said Schultz.
Neighbors complain of traffic and smoke from the military reenactments.
Collings says he will now head to court.MORE NEWS: David Mugar, Creator Of July 4th Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular, Dies At 82
“We can’t forget this history, not only to honor our veterans, but also to avoid future conflict,” said Collings.