Developer appeals town decision on Woodland Meadows 40B

by susan on December 3, 2010

After nearly three years before the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Woodland Meadows 40B project off Oak Hill Road was finally approved by the board in October. But that doesn’t mean you should start looking for bulldozers on the site any time soon. The developer behind the project, Robert Heavey of Natick, has appealed the town’s decision because he says some of the conditions imposed by the board will make the project unprofitable.

The nature of the Woodland Meadows project has changed dramatically over the course of the permitting process. It began as a 4-story 43-unit condominium project off Woodland Road, but after stormwater management and other issues, Heavey scaled the project back significantly to a 16-unit townhouse complex with an entrance off Oak Hill Road.

But the ZBA had concerns about the project’s density and decided to approve only 14 units instead of the requested 16. Heavey told the board 14 units wouldn’t be enough to make a return on the project. “With a 40B you’re supposed to help the developer,” Heavey told the board this summer. “This is a hindrance. I can’t reduce it below 16.”

ZBA Chairman Sam Stivers said this week that Heavey has filed an appeal with the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. It’s not uncommon for developers to appeal a town’s decision. “It happens,” Stivers said.

Stivers said Town Counsel Aldo Cipriano is handling the appeal process for the town, and said he did not know when a decision is expected. “It’s out of our hands at this point,” Stivers said.

Both the town and Heavey have other avenues of appeal after the DHCD ruling, so it’s possible this one might not be resolved for a while.

For more background on the Woodland Meadows project, click here.

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