WILMINGTON — During their meeting last night, the Planning Board considered several public hearings related to site plan review, stormwater management permits, and more for various projects across town.
Three plans on their agenda requested that public hearings and action deadlines be extended until next month, and the board voted to do so.
The first one was the site plan review, stormwater management, and parking relief special permit at 225 Andover St. for American Maplewood Properties.
Next was a site plan review, stormwater management, and groundwater protection district permit for 154-156 West St. on behalf of Wesley Reed.
The final project that asked to be continued was for the site plan and stormwater management at 99 Fordham Road with Carlisle Capital Corporation.
There were two items related to 201 Lowell St. and Textron Systems — the first being a Form A for the subdivision of Lot 7. The board accepted the form as submitted and gave the applicant the go ahead to change the street numbering.
For their stormwater management and groundwater protection district permit, two presenters explained the changes they made in the areas that the town engineer asked. They pursued peer review in the areas of water, sewer, traffic, wetlands, and drainage, and were only awaiting follow-up on the latter two areas. The rest, they reported, required no further action.
Director of Planning and Conservation Valerie Gingrich explained that they wanted to see the plans reflect the power and sewer lines that would run through the future building. The changes that were presented here reflected the new sewer line running through the new property next door, which would no longer be Textron Systems.
The board discussed that they would have to relocate the sewer prior to the construction of the new building, and that the owners of the property where the new sewer would be wouldn’t need to seek approval for the sewer.
The presenters detailed that they met the requested changes for the drainage, landscaping, fire pond connection, and stormwater. They also described the planned phases for all of the property changes. Before they start the work in Lot B, Lot A would be fully functional.
They asked the board for approval that night in order to get started with the mostly interior changes with Textron, but Gingrich maintained that the site plan review was triggered by the exterior changes. She said that once the final revised plan was reviewed, they could prepare the draft decision conditions for the next meeting.
The board voted to continue this item.
The next project contained proposed changes to the property at 841 Woburn St. for Stephen Crampe. The representative shared that the current number of parking spaces doesn’t meet the demand, so they’d be looking to expand the parking lot and stay within zoning code. He also said that they made changes as requested for stormwater and storage.
Without final approval from engineering, the board voted to issue the draft decisions that night, but not endorse the plans until they were reviewed by Town Engineer Paul Alunni.
“The October plan may become the endorsement plan if it’s OK,” Gingrich said.
They were prepared to do so ahead of the November meeting.
The last item for approval was a proposal for exterior changes at the Dunkin at 211 Lowell St. Gingrich explained that they’d be redoing the exterior with new signs, a new canopy, and a digital menu.
“It’s kind of a fresher look, more up-to-date,” she continued.
The board approved the waiver request.
Finally, the board discussed some proposed zoning changes by the planning director. She walked the board through the changes she had drafted: general design criteria for site plan review to be put into the bylaw, and a zoning change in North Wilmington from general industrial to neighborhood mixed use.
Some of the suggestions for the design plan criteria she suggested to add were considerations for runoff, flood storage, erosion controls, pedestrian activity, heat island effect, landscaping buffers, native plants, and connections to existing trails or sidewalks.
Chairman Michael Sorrentino commented that he would like to see the bylaw say that the building should fit the neighborhood.
Gingrich also added specificity for site designs in the central business district, including focusing on creating a pedestrian experience, front setback, landscaping, and parking or loading areas being located in the rear. She said that this would just be something for the board to consider and edit going forward.
Her idea for North Wilmington pertained to the area around the North Wilmington train station and Middlesex Avenue, where a lot of spaces are zoned industrially.
“This zoning may not reflect what people want to see in the neighborhood,” she continued. “I don’t think anyone wants to see more active warehouses.”
She proposed changing the zoning for some of the buildings to neighborhood mixed-use so that developers could bring something pedestrian-oriented. The existing properties would be grandfathered in as nonconforming, but there’d be room for change in the future.
For next steps, she suggested first letting the board digest and then bringing in property owners and abutting neighbors to a meeting for feedback.
The next Planning Board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 2 at 7:30 p. m.