Monday, April 22, 2019

What is the story with 278-280-300 West Central St?

On the Town Council agenda for the meeting Wednesday, April 24, 2019, there is an Executive Session scheduled to discuss two items, one of which is a current lawsuit concerning the Planning Board and developer Joel D’Errico around his proposal for property at 278-300 West Central St.

I went back into the Town and Franklin Matters archives to pull together the relevant meeting notes as the subject property was proposed for a zoning bylaw change in 2016, approved, and then is now under consideration for a proposal to change it back. In the middle of this is the long story (yes, settle in) and read along as the developer meets with the Planning Board several times in 2017 and into 2018 before being rejected and then attempts to comeback with a revised proposal later in 2018.

Why would these parcels get their zoning changed and now three years later be proposed to get their zoning changed back to what it was? Good question.

I did become interested when it came up for discussion during the March 13, 2019 Town Council meeting. My notes were captured as follows:

Zoning Bylaw Amendment 19-837: Zoning Map Changes from General Residential V to Single Family Residential IV, an area on or near West Central Street- Referral to the Planning Board (Motion to Refer Zoning Bylaw Amendment 19-837 to the Planning Board- Majority Vote (5)) 
Joel D'Errico with story on the proposal for the propertyAttny Cerel alerted the Council that there is a suit against the Planning Board and they should be cautious in their response to Mr D'Errico 
Mr Marguerite speaks in favor of the R5, he has a deal with Mr D'Errico 
motion to approve, seconded, passes 4-3 (simple majority due to the presence of 7)Hamblen, noDellorco, noKelly, noCasey, Jones, Mercer, Earls all yes

So the Zoning Bylaw Amendment 19-837 moved to the Planning Board for the second time. Let’s step back into 2016 and follow what happened to get us to this point.

Zoning Bylaw Amendment 16-753

Planning board meeting to review proposed Zoning bylaw amendment 16-753 and voted against it by 4-0

Public hearing at Town Council

From official Town Council Apr 27, 2016 meeting minutes

Zoning Bylaw change 16-753 was continued as first reading at Town Council Meeting May 11, 2016

From official TC Meeting May 11, 2019 minutes

Zoning Bylaw change 16-753 at second reading/vote to approve

TC Meeting May 25, 2016

After the zoning change is approved in May 2016, we find nothing in the Planning Board records until October 2016

Proposal for 278-280-300 West Central St

A discussion on the proposal with no vote or formal submittal at this time

A full year goes by before the proposal is officially brought forward

Planning Board - Initial hearing Oct 30, 2017

Planning Board hearing continued Dec 4, 2017

Planning Board hearing continued Dec 18, 2017

Planning Board hearing continued Jan 22, 2018

Planning Board hearing continued Feb 5, 2018

Planning Board hearing continued Feb 26, 2018

Planning Board hearing continued on March 12, 2018

Planning Board hearing continued to April 9, 2018 for site density study

Hearing continued to April 23, 2018 for full hearing, at which the hearing is closed

Nothing until the June 18 meeting, and a schedule for vote at July 9, 2018 meeting

Planning Board vote on special permits July 9, 2018 meeting denies Special Permits

Planning Board September 10, 2018 meeting - discussion on re-submitting as there have been ‘substantial and material’ changes

Planning Board September 24, 2018 meeting - further discussion on whether it can be resubmitted

Planning Board October 15, 2018 meeting further discussion and request to submit, no decision without a submittal

Planning Board January 7, 2019 meeting - item resubmitted, public hearing opened

Planning Board January 28, 2019 - hearing continued, then voted against allowing the resubmittal

Zoning Bylaw Amendment 19-837
Current proposal to change subject property from SFR V back to SFR IV in 2019

First meeting of referral to Planning Board March 13, 2019

See my notes as reported in the beginning of this story.

The Planning Board was scheduled to review this item per their April 8, 2019 agenda

There are no published minutes for the Planning Board meetings after January 2019.

What is the story with 278-280-300 West Central St?
What is the story with 278-280-300 West Central St?

1 comment:

  1. WOW - that's a lot of information on the history of this project. For what it's worth, I think it's a bad idea to put 30 condos there (I'm assuming that's still the number - I didn't read everything) because of traffic concerns alone. The water runoff issues that go along with such an increase in impervious surfaces, along with the inevitable noise complaints from being so close to a train crossing and industrial area, not to mention the property value changes the abutters may face, make this proposal a bad idea, in my view.
    We should all be glad that we're over the 40B threshold now, or it would be hard to stop this.