WILMINGTON — At last night’s Planning Board meeting, Director of Planning and Conservation Valerie Gingrich discussed efforts being made this year in regard to zoning changes. The first thing she mentioned was the draft guidelines of the new zoning by-law, which she said would not be ready in time for Town Meeting. There was also an idea to potentially expand the central business district which would also not be ready in time.
For zoning articles at the annual Town Meeting this year, the deadline is Feb. 7. The Planning Board meeting on Feb. 1 would possibly help proposals get there. Among efforts already prepared were those for parking lot landscape requirements, the Board of Selectmen changing their name to the Select Board, new design standards, and potentially rezoning North Wilmington to mixed use.
Gingrich also said that information on the design standards proposed would be distributed for feedback explaining what the guidelines are and how streetscapes may be envisioned.
A number of their appointments for that night had requested to be continued to next month and were approved accordingly. These included the site plan review for 625 Main St.; the site plan review, parking relief permit, and stormwater management for 99 Fordham Road; and the application and stormwater management permit for 11 Commonwealth Ave.
The board approved the surety for Highland Estates, which totaled over $240,000. They also endorsed a page that had been missing in a previously endorsed site plan review for 201 Lowell St.
The public hearing continued for the site plan review and stormwater management permit at 36 and 38 Upton Drive. As explained by the applicant’s representatives, their main updates involved circulation, access, and landscape. More specifically, they dropped the footprint of their plans by more than 1,800 feet, added an access road around the building and another door, and changed the parking layout and retaining wall to provide more landscaping.
The original single retaining wall would now be three walls covered in planted shrubs and vines.
“You won’t see a wall,” they said. “You’ll see a greenery.”
Parking had been reduced to only what was necessary. They explained that they made these and other changes as suggested by the Conservation Commission and the fire department.
The board especially appreciated their efforts to respond to their previous comments and improving the look of the retaining wall. They then voted to continue the public hearing until their next meeting due to the expected timeline for comments from the Engineering Department.
Another property for continued public hearing that night was the subdivision and stormwater management permit for Eagleview Drive. Kristen Costa, representing Craig Newhouse, shared that their plan was to create a new road and eight new lots in place of the homes at 71 and 73 Marion St. Each home would be a 3000 square foot, 4-bedroom colonial with standard utilities.
Some of the proposed changes here included 12-foot driveways, a vertical granite curb, erosion controls, wetland replication where the wetlands would be crossed, and hopefully a waiver from the grass strip requirement in those two places. There would be closed drainage in the roadway along with cache basins and a closed system.
They planned to keep the semi-circle turnaround for now, but might change it should they go forward with a second project in that same area. They confirmed that electrical services would be connected across the street.
They’d also received the results from a traffic peer review that the adjustments and conditions had been met appropriately.
The board mainly commented that the newly separated lots and their respective driveways appeared to be very small. The project engineer mentioned that they aimed to reduce pavement and satisfy the fire department with the half-turnaround, although the two ideas weren’t connected.
Gingrich shared that Town Engineer Paul Alunni had written in his comments that he would request the new intersection to be analyzed and modified by a traffic engineer and consultant because of the new connection. He had also suggested a peer review of the entire site due to the backlog of work in the department.
However, Costa responded to say that they preferred having Alunni continue the review despite the timeline.
Gingrich added that the fire department commented on the broken street concept, given that there was already an Eagleview Drive elsewhere. She included that they commented on the half-turnaround and the importance of careful street numbering.
The board continued this public hearing to their next meeting.
Finally, the board heard about the installation on a tower at 773 Salem St. The representatives of Verizon Wireless established that all of the nine antennas on the tower would be removed and replaced with eight new antennas. They’d also be taking down six remote radio heads and installing 12 new ones, removing a cable and putting up two new cables, and replace the junction box with two new junction boxes. They promised that no work would be done on the ground.
Gingrich’s only comment was a question from Alunni on whether the proposed 2019 modifications had taken place, as claimed by the structural analysis provided. She suggested that the representatives verify that for the next meeting and they’d provide draft decisions at that time.
The board will next meet on Feb. 1 at 7:30 p. m.