A good crowd of neighbors turned out last night to learn more about a 180-unit 40B condominium complex being proposed for a parcel of land behind Red Roof Inn in the Flagg Road area. Residents told the Board of Selectmen they were concerned about a number of issues, but their primary area of concern – traffic – was mostly off the table, at least for last night’s discussion.
Southborough-based developer William Depietri of Capital Group Properties, who is proposing the 5-building complex to be called The Residences at Park Central, told selectmen he is still awaiting the completion of a traffic study that will examine the impact of the proposed project on area roads, including Flagg Road and Route 9.
Saying he also had questions about traffic flow, Chairman John Rooney acknowledged neighbors’ concerns, but tabled any discussion about traffic until the report is complete.
Depietri said the traffic study, which is expected to be available by the end of the month, will also include an analysis of recently-detailed state plans to overhaul the interchange at Routes 9 and 495.
According to plans for the proposed condo development, each of the 180 units would be allocated two parking spaces, making for a worst-case scenario of 360 additional car trips during peak commute hours.
With a new access road proposed from the development down to Flagg Road, neighbor Matthew Brownell said that would make the already treacherous intersection of Flagg Road and Route 9 even more so, particularly at rush hour. “It’s an exercise almost in suicide,” Brownell said of the current intersection.
In addition to traffic and safety, neighbors were also concerned about future development on the site. Diepitri told selectmen he is under agreement to purchase an 87-acre parcel behind Red Roof Inn, land currently owned by the Flatley Company, but the proposed 40B development only encompasses 25 of those acres. Residents wanted to know what the developer’s plans are for the rest of the land.
Depietri said while he has no immediate plans, he ultimately hopes to develop the whole parcel, with economic conditions dictating what gets built there. “It could be residential, commercial, or industrial,” he said.
The land is zoned industrial.
While Southborough is still below the state-set target for affordable housing units (the target is 10% and we’re at about 7.4%), residents worried about building a large 40B when another was only recently approved. Construction on the 140-unit Madison Place apartment complex just down Route 9 at Crystal Pond Road began this summer.
Bantry Road resident Wendy Demichaelis called it “irresponsible” to start thinking about another large 40B with the last still under construction. “We haven’t even had a chance to absorb the impact of Madison Place yet,” she told selectmen.
The 180 units at The Residences at Park Central would be comprised of 60 one-bedroom units and 120 two-bedroom units, Depietri said. Of those, 10 of the one-bedrooms and 20 of the two-bedrooms would also have a den. There would be no three-bedroom units.
Based on available data, Depietri said the town can expect about two dozen children to reside in the new development, and will see roughly $800K a year in additional tax revenue.
Selectman Bill Boland explained that while a 40B developer can come to the board looking for support, any endorsement or opposition by selectmen is “kind of a formality.” Regardless of how selectmen feel about the project, if the 40B designation is approved by Mass Housing, the developer can bring plans before the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals.
Boland warned residents to be prepared for a “lengthy process.”