Friday, April 15, 2005
Lowell Street 40B ready for progress Laurel Hollow becomes Rocky Point
A "moonscape" was how Board O\of Appeals member Hal Sauer referred to the Laurel Hollow 40B development approved last year, which is located across from the transfer station on Lowell Road. With a new name, Rocky Point, and a construction manager, Michael Harrington, the application was before the board again.
Harrington asked the board to accept some changes which were "not substantial." If the board agrees that the new issues raised by Michael Kenny's proposed eight-unit development are "not substantial," then the application will not be reopened with formal hearings. The board agreed to some of proposed changes readily. Vinyl siding instead of wood was proposed. The siding recommended is accepted by the National Historical Society. There was also discussion about a new contrasting color placed on some of the side boards. The board agreed that if the boards were not white, they would accept these changes as not substantial.
However, one of the issues raised might be a substantial one, and the board was concerned. Discussion centered around the two affordable units, which will be sold below market prices. Those units, explained Harrington, will be reduced in size due to problems with run-off which an abutter experienced this winter. Moving one of the units away from the property line of the abutter would necessitate a unit with fewer square feet. In addition the other affordable unit had a big grade which also had to be reduced, creating a smaller unit.
Although the board was pleased that the changes were positive in that they were increasing the setback, improving the grade, and making the buildings 300 square feet smaller, board member Shann Kerner said, "These are the affordable housing units, and you are making them lesser than the other houses." She asked if voting rights for these units will be based on square feet or units. Harrington, said he was not certain, but he could not imagine that the voting rights would discriminate against the lower-cost housing. Kerner stressed that it needed to be written into the plan that voting rights would be based on units and not square feet.
John Minty of Concord, who was representing Carlisle Building Inspector Bob Koning, said that he was aware of a similar development in Concord in which voting rights were dependent on square feet. He also said that the board should consider the implications of units of significant lesser value having the same rights as units with much higher value.
Kerner said, "If it has to be square feet, these people in the affordable units are at a disadvantage." Sauer offered to communicate with Town Counsel to find out the wording of the agreement.
Asked when the development would be finished, Harrington told the board that he was hopeful it would be done within a year. He said the first foundation has been poured. The board seemed relieved that the dirt and stone moonscape, an eyesore to all Lowell Street travelers, would finally begin to be transformed.
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