Board asks developer to further scale back Woodland Meadows 40B

When the Woodland Meadows 40B housing development off Oak Hill Road was first proposed, it was going to be a 4-story, 43-unit complex. When the developer was unable to get approval for the project, he scaled it back to 16 townhouses. At a meeting late last month, the Zoning Board of Appeals asked him to scale it back even further.

Calling the 16-unit plan “overly-dense” and referencing health and safety concerns, the board told developer Robert Heavey that they would prefer a 14-unit plan. Three of the 14 townhouses would be sold as affordable units under the state’s Chapter 40B regulations which encourage affordable housing by relaxing certain zoning restrictions in exchange for a portion of the housing being offered at below-market prices.

But Heavey told the board that cutting back to 14 units would make the development “not economically feasible” and called the board’s suggestion that he develop at 14-unit plan “absolutely ludicrous.”

“With a 40B you’re supposed to help the developer,” Heavey said. “This is a hindrance. I can’t reduce it below 16.”

“For all of us, we’re concerned about density,” ZBA Chairman Sam Stivers said. “Mr. Heavey has to determine if it works for him, and he has the right to appeal.”

The board said they would make a final decision at their next meeting. Heavey said if they endorse a 14-unit plan, he intends to appeal.

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