Residents who wish to comment on Park Central’s environmental impact should email selectmen by end of day tomorrow (Thursday, July 21st). Comments should relate to the draft Environmental Impact Report. (Click here to open the pdf file.)
The draft report was publishedby consultants and submitted by developer Capital Group Property. It describes the proposed development on the 101 acre property next to route 495 as:
180 rental 40B units, and 140 townhomes, with approximately ten acres reserved for a future phase that will include a 125-room hotel and a 150-unit assisted living facility. The project includes a new roadway as well as a new wastewater treatment plant with on-site disposal to serve the development.
The EIR is required through the MEPA (Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act) process. The condo project is being pushed through under the state’s 40B statute. And the townhouse project is linked by developer concessions given on the 40B to the Town and abutters. The scale of those projects, combined with state involvement, triggered the review.
As the state’s website explains:
The Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) requires that state agencies study the environmental consequences of their actions, including permitting and financial assistance. It also requires them to take all feasible measures to avoid, minimize, and mitigate damage to the environment.
MEPA further requires that state agencies “use all practicable means and measures to minimize damage to the environment,” by studying alternatives to the proposed project, and developing enforceable mitigation commitments, which will become conditions for the project if and when they are permitted. [Click here to read more.]
The EIR draft was published on June 15th and posted to the Conservation Commission’s page of the Town website on June 28th. Comments were originally listed as due to Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs by July 12th.
Presumably the Town sought and received an extension for comments by selectmen. The following was posted to the “Events” section of the Town website on the afternoon of July 18th:
MEPA comments on Park Central
MEPA seeking feedback from Town on Park Central DRAFT EIR [environmental impact report]; due by 7/22. Email: email@example.com by end of day 7/21/16.