- Written by Gillian Smith
- Published: 16 April 2014
The Zoning Board of Appeals continued a public hearing regarding McLean’s Way after hearing the project proposal and comments from the public.
Peter Freeman, the applicant’s attorney, presented a housing project called McLean’s Way, which would consist of 24 single-family condominiums on a 10.29-acre lot at 56 and 70 Bow Street. Six of those units will be deed restricted as affordable housing under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 40B.
The project, if approved, will have 1,400 feet of driveway that is 20 feet wide. It was originally proposed as a 28-home project, but density and drainage concerns arose and the applicant decreased the project to 24 units. Freeman said none of the construction will be within the Wetlands Protection Overlay District or buffer zone on the project.
The presentation included descriptions of four models of single-family homes that will be constructed on the site. Dennis Nolan, the architect on the project, said the dwellings will be varied in order to avoid a cookie-cutter type of layout. A traffic study was also conducted during a normal weather week, and found that, during the peak hours of 7-9 a.m., the most amount of cars in and out of the complex would be about 27. Overall, the traffic study showed that the traffic impact of the development would not be significant, with an increase in traffic of 10 percent.
Over two-dozen residents attended the ZBA meeting to listen to the proposal and to take advantage of the open forum portion of the meeting that allowed for public comment.
Jean Clark, of Surplus Street, said she believed the proposal was “perhaps one of the most unlikely sites for a 40B” in town.
“It is to my amazement that the applicant has been a resident for several years,” she said.
James White, of Bow Street, expressed concern with traffic and safety in the area.
“I’m not sure why the study was conducted just on a weekday basis, but I can assure the traffic will triple on a Saturday or a Sunday,” he said. “I would ask that the Board consider the traffic study be repeated on a weekend before anything is considered to move forward.”
Gary Simon, of Bow Street, said his concern was that there are no sidewalks in the areas for students who have to walk to school.
“More traffic will make it more difficult for those who are walking, especially if there is snow,” he said. “10 percent more cars mean 10 percent more danger.”
In response to a concern about the project not being completed, Freeman said a phasing plan has not been implemented but he believes the project can be completed without phasing, as long as the economy remains favorable.
Judy Barrett, ZBA chair pro temp, said under state regulations that largely govern what the board does, the board is supposed to conclude the case within 180 days.
“Sometimes they don’t take that long and other times they take longer, in which case we would ask applicant for extension,” she said. “The goal of chapter 40B is an efficient permitting process. I don’t see this process taking years but I can’t tell you how long it will take.”
The hearing was continued until May 22.