Park Central: ZBA and developer agree to give boards more time to comment

Earlier this month, I shared residents’ concerns about the speed of Zoning Board of Appeals hearings and deadlines for the 40B project at Park Central. They weren’t the only ones.

The Planning Board submitted a letter to the ZBA complaining of the tight deadline given to them for commenting on the large project. The Planning Board had been given a little over two weeks to from receipt of the site plan with a deadline of Thanksgiving.

On Wednesday night, ZBA Chair Leo Bartolini explained that he had been pushing to meet the project’s deadline of December 31st. He asked developer Bill Depietri of Capital Group Properties if he was willing to grant an extension. Depietri agreed and schedules were adjusted.

The Planning Board was given an extension to January 4th for submitting their comments. (They have scheduled a review of the Park Central developments for December 7th.)

The ZBA will keep their scheduled December 2nd meeting in order to review landscaping and lighting around the 40B. The December 9th meeting has been dropped. Instead, they will review comments from boards on January 6th and go over changes to the plans based on those comments on January 20th.

But the schedule wasn’t the only concern voiced last Wednesday. 

Abutter Madjid Yazdani questioned the landscape plan for screening.  He was informed that the evergreens should reach maturity in 20-30 years. They will be planted as 6-8 feet tall, doubling in 8-10 years. Yazdani commented:

So by the time that my kid’s out of college and I’ve moved out is when these trees will be at their maturity and give us the privacy that we were hoping for.

And resident Howard Rose again raised the question of an updated Traffic Report peer review. At the previous meeting his question was dismissed based on reports purportedly having covered the issue.

On Wednesday, Rose claimed that a study had never been done and peer reviewed based on multiple developments using a single access point via Flagg Road, with the possibility of the state closing Flagg Road’s access to Route 9.

In back and forth with the board and developer, there was some confusion about what versions had been completed, shared, and peer reviewed. Bartolini said he would take a look at what had been done and readdress the issue at the December 2nd meeting.

Earlier in the meeting, Planning Board Chair Don Morris raised a process concern.

His focus was the non-40 the townhouse development for which the ZBA granted a Use Variance. That approval conditioned that the ZBA would conduct a Site Plan Review. Under a section referencing a “residual site plan” it also included that the Planning Board would do a Site Plan Review.

Morris wanted to put on the record that the non-40B project needs to come before the Planning Board for a full Site Plan Review. He claimed that none of the Planning Board’s authority on that could be delegated even if they wanted to. Bartolini told him that any questions he had on that should be addressed to Town Counsel.


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