5.79 acre property currently used as farmland and pays almost nothing in annual taxes
Concept plan for 29 townhouses, 58 parking spaces on 5.79 acres (2.3 acres of it non buildable wetlands)
The Planning Board was in an agreeable mood last night for construction as they unanimously supported three projects all involving residential housing.
Although the major one involving, gasp, student housing still has to meander through the minefield of Town Meeting which previously voted down the idea.
Rezoning the 5.79 acre property on University Drive from Office Park to Business Limited would allow the construction of 29 townhouse apartments and increase tax revenues to the town from the current under $100 to upwards of $150,000 -- or more than enough to hire a few more Public Safety personnel.
Unhappy crowd -- mostly neighbors -- spoke against the rezoning
The business neighbors to the south (an office park and The Arbors assisted living community) were adamantly opposed to the project, as was the owner of 55 University Drive directly across the street, which was recently approved for a medical marijuana facility.
The Planning Board also discussed amending the current medical marijuana bylaw to say no such facility can be within 300 feet of existing residential.
That way it would allow a residential project to be constructed after a medical marijuana facility has opened. Or in this particular case, if 55 University Drive does become a medical marijuana dispensary the 29 townhouses could still be built across the street.
Current wetlands have been delineated to the satisfaction of Conservation Commission
Critics all cited the problems with water runoff, which the applicants said they would address by installing a larger pipe for drainage.
And the Planning Board pointed out no matter what goes on that property -- even with current Office Park zoning -- there would be conditions set to ensure the drainage problem is mitigated.
Attorney Tom Reidy presents to a receptive Planning Board last night
The (required) public hearing lasted only 45 minutes and the Planning Board simultaneously closed the hearing and voted on whether to recommend this article to Town Meeting. That vote was unanimously affirmative.
Building Commissioner Rob Morra feels because of all the requirements University Drive is only place in town for a medical marijuana dispensary
Meanwhile (this morning):
Security fencing is being erected all around the Carriage Shops in preparation for demolition. One East Pleasant Street is finally going to commence.
Asbestos abatement will happen first