TEWKSBURY — The Planning Board met for their final meeting of the summer and took on a large agenda with a wide variety of issues.
The board kicked off the meeting with an informal discussion regarding signs at 1775 Main St. Representatives from Lowell Five Bank explained that Fred C. Church Insurance has entered into an agreement with the bank to be co-occupants of the location. The bank will still operate as a full-service bank. Multiple signs require a special permit from the Planning Board. The board agreed to review the application.
Matt Hamor of LandPlex, LLC, came before the board requesting a two-year special permit extension at 2122 Main St. Hamor noted that the previous extension granted by the board recently expired, and that the developer has struggled in securing financing for the project. Board member Vinny Fratalia requested that the developer maintain the lot and emphasized the importance of upkeep on Main Street properties. Hamor told the board he would ensure the property sees monthly review.
“I’m not sure I want to do a two-year extension; we’ve already done this once. I don’t like these things being open-ended forever,” said chairman Steve Johnson.
“Someday, you’ll be stuck with no permit,” added member Robert Fowler.
The board voted to extend the permit for one-year instead of the requested two.
Applicant James Andella, his attorney Dave Plunkett, and Hamor came before the board to discuss a concept plan at 357 Main St. Plunkett noted that though the plan was originally designed to include commercial space, the new plan is only residential, with three buildings of 25 units each.
The project is intended to be an over-55 community. Board members raised concerns over accessibility for emergency vehicles; Hamor said he would provide the board with a letter from the fire department.
“You mentioned 55-and-over doesn’t have an impact on the schools, but it does impact police and fire. It’s an offset,” said board member Eric Ryder.
The board next considered a land disturbance permit at 300 Ames Pond Dr. in accordance with the town’s stormwater bylaws. The project, a collaboration between developers Arnie Martel and Marc Ginsburg, will include natural buffers and erosion control. The developers will be leveling dirt.
One abutter inquired about the hours of operation and raised concerns over noise pollution in the neighborhood. Ginsburg stated that trucks will not be opened [unlocked] until 7 a.m.
Ryder reiterated that the developer is responsible for all the cleanup from the construction. The board approved the permit.
The board addressed a site plan special permit at 1583 Andover St. Hamor appeared on behalf of the Daly Group. The developer is intending to build a restaurant and drive-thru coffee shop on the lot.
Board members raised concerns over a lack of an additional lane for emergency use. The board continued the issue to their September meeting.
The board reviewed a site plan special permit at 2131 Main St. Andy Street of Civil Design Consultants and developer John Faneros reviewed changes to the application since last meeting with the board.
The proposal has 15 townhouses over three buildings with commercial space, with two units designated affordable.
“We feel the project has met the criteria in the bylaw,” said Johnson.
The board approved the special permit.
The board addressed a special permit and definitive subdivision request from LandPlex LLC at 1420 Andover St. Plunkett and Hamor explained to the board how the proposal has been changed in response to comments made by Town Engineer Kevin Hardiman, including new parcel configuration and driveway geometry.
“There is a difference with the things Mr. Hardiman sends us: some things are comments, some things are problems. At some point we have to make a final decision when he brings up an issue, whether or not we feel it’s been addressed by what’s been presented. Others are simply problems and you cannot go forward until they’re addressed,” said Johnson.
The board approved the waivers and special permit and definitive subdivision request after considering the updates to the plan.
The next meeting is scheduled for Sept. 9, 2019.