Planning Board Makes Quick Work of Agenda

The big item on the agenda for Tuesday night’s Planning Board meeting was continued to the August 23 meeting.

The Neighborhood Developers (TND) are proposing a 66-unit affordable housing apartment development at 170 Cottage Street, but the developers requested the continuance to the next Planning Board meeting.

TND is looking to begin construction on the project in spring of 2023, pending approvals, with 12 one-bedroom apartments, 43 two-bedroom apartments, and 11 three-bedroom apartments.

With the biggest project off the table Tuesday, the Planning Board made quick work of two smaller projects.

The board recommended approval of Bellingham, LLC’s request for a conversion of a seven-unit residential building at 64 Washington Ave. to an eight unit building, with a three bedroom apartment replacing office space on the first floor.

“There’s an office on the ground floor, which was Three Hills Realty,” said attorney David Mindlin. “They have submitted plans for a beautiful three-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment.”

Mindlin said the building is close to the Silver Line and public transportation. While there is parking relief required for the property, he said there is parking in the back which is accessible through a shared driveway.

“Any additional burdens on the community and on the area and neighborhood would be minimal and it would be maximizing the use of space that right now is not productive,” said Mindlin.

The project will be back before the Zoning Board next week for final approval of special permits and variances.

The board also recommended approval of an addition to a foyer to an existing nonconforming three-family home at 120 Bloomingdale St.

Building owner Andrea Garcia said the addition was needed to help address a leak in the basement and that no living space was added to the building.

Planning Board member Sharlene McLean noted that the work was done before coming before the Planning Board and ZBA for approvals, but ultimately recommended approval. She said she also wants to make sure all inspections are completed before final approval is granted for the project.

“I would have taken issue with it being built right up to the sidewalk,” McLean noted if the project had come before the board before work was done. “I would have suggested bringing it back, even a foot.”

Board member Mimi Rancatore said she had some concerns that other residents in the neighborhood might seek to do a similar project without seeking approvals first.

The Bloomingdale Street request for special permits and variances will also come before the ZBA on August 23.

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