TEWKSBURY — The Planning Board met on Monday, Oct. 5, for a virtual meeting.
The board reviewed an approval not required plan for 444 North Billerica Road. The proponent’s attorney explained that the lot of land is partly in Billerica and partly in Tewksbury, with a dwelling that sits on the line. There is a nonbuildable lot at the back of the property that will be split along the Tewksbury border and will remain nonbuildable.
The board endorsed the plan.
The board reviewed a special permit extension request for 1418 Main St., a six-unit mixed-use project. The proponent sought a one year extension following the lifting of coronavirus restrictions.
The board granted the extension.
The board reviewed a concept plan for 935 Main St., the former police station site. The proponent is seeking to build 18 rental townhome units (with two affordable units). Because the lot is within the town center overlay district, the development must be mixed-use; the developer plans to build 20 parking spaces for use by the adjacent Tewksbury Housing Authority, as parking is classified as a commercial use by the town zoning bylaws.
Board member Eric Ryder said, “I feel that’s a stretch on the commercial component,” though developer Mike Saccone said the zoning bylaws are clear, adding that the commercial component doesn’t have to be an entity, just a use. Ryder countered that the intent of the bylaw is that the commercial component is for a business.
The board will revisit the conversation at a later date.
The board returned to a discussion about 181 Pine St. with developer Jim Andella and his consultant Matt Hamor. Hamor reviewed stormwater reports and waivers with the board noting the plans for the development haven’t changed.
Ryder mentioned that he met with abutters and town officials to clear up some concerns regarding flooding issues, meeting on site with Town Engineer Kevin Hardiman.
“[The residents] had concerns that I have voiced from day one on this project,” he said. “My concerns are yet to be addressed... in my opinion, [flooding] is going to cause a significant liability to the town.”
Hamor said that several drainage changes have been made to the plan over the different drafts.
“I can’t change the fact that [the abutter] has a low point in his back corner that was there,” he said.
Hardiman said that flooding would be hard to accurately predict. The abutter and developer made plans to meet together and look at the property.
The board continued the matter to a future meeting.
The board held a sidewalk discussion with Hardiman to discuss different sidewalk projects in town, including efforts to connect Shawsheen Street with Oakdale Plaza.
Assistant Town Manager Steve Sadwick added that the town is trying to maximize efficiency and fill in gaps in the sidewalk network plan. The board also talked about sidewalk funding, including an article which was on the warrant for special Town meeting and passed.
The next meeting of the planning board is scheduled for Oct. 26, 2020. Residents wishing to comment may use the call-in number during the meeting, found on the meeting agenda on the town website. The meeting may be viewed on Comcast channel 99 and Verizon channel 33 and on the town’s YouTube channel www.YouTube.com/TewksburyTV.