Planning Board discussion: update

The Planning Board voted this evening (7/28/10) to approve moving forward with the MAPC consultant’s proposal, as referenced in the post below. Much of the hour+ discussion was devoted to exploring the various scenarios that could play out relating to the development of the Smith property and zoning and use. The framework for the discussion was a detailed memo that Town Planner Jennifer Burney had prepared for the Board. It is worth a careful read.  Click here for the memo.

—Roland

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2 Responses to Planning Board discussion: update

  1. Tom Parker says:

    This statement in Jennifer’s report bothers me:

    “Developers that have expressed interest in the property have stated that residential development is not feasible due to the cost….”

    Perhaps the Smith’s should greatly reduce the asking price of the property. The way I read this, any change in zoning is a huge financial gift to the Smiths, the developer or both. I would guess that the property as currently zoned would be worth well less than $1 million and probably only about $500 K. If this “gift” is granted to the Smith’s and developers, what gift is going to be given back to the town? Is anyone else in town asking for a re-zoning so that they can reap a windfall profit? Has this town ever granted such a request?

    That said, I would fully support a reasonalbe size commercial development on the property. From what I have read, the currently proposal goes far beyond reasonable. Defining what is reasonable is as always a challenge.

    The town has control over this unless someone wants to build a 40B which is more desirable to me than a large scale commercial development on the property. In any event, anyone wanting to build a 40B can much more easily pruchase the property across from Colonial Candies which is already permitted and is for sale. Unless the town voters are convinced in large numbers that this makes sense for some reason, I can’t see the current proposal getting past step 1.

  2. Joan Entwistle says:

    At the planning board discussion, several attendees and planning board members discussed “design guidelines”. Specifically people wanted lighting design to reduce light pollution. Is this something a committee can work on without requiring hiring a consultant? Do design guidelines such as this require a town meeting vote, or can they be implemented as regulations?

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