Planning Board to Hear Arguments for Amendment for Taller Tower at Arsenal Yards in July

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Boylston Propertties

A rendering of what a taller residential tower could look like at Arsenal Yards. It would be 197 feet tall, 67 taller than currently allowed, so developers seek an amendment to the zoning to allow the increased height. The red lines show the outline of the 129-foot tower currently approved.

At its next meeting the Planning Board will hear arguments from the developers of Arsenal Yards about their requested amendment to increase the allowable height in the area to 197 feet.

The proposed amendment to the Regional Mixed Use District (RMUD) section of the Zoning Ordinance would increase the maximum height by 67 feet over the currently allowed 130 feet. The maximum height is allowed if a parcel is 10 acres or more. The Planning Board will discuss the amendment on July 11, 2018 at the meeting that begins at 7 p.m. in Town Hall. The item is comes after two other cases.

The amendment must be ultimately approved by the Town Council, but the Planning Board will give its recommendation action on the proposal.

Developers of the Arsenal Mall renovation, called Arsenal Yards, held a community meeting in June to provide information about their plans if they were to get the increased height. The tower (Building G) could be thinner, have more glass and allow more light between the tower and the next door building.

It would go from 129 feet to 197 feet, and from 12 stories to 18 stories. Opinions of residents were split, but more said they opposed the taller building.

Opinions Split Over Taller Tower Request by Developers of Arsenal Yards

The amendment reads (the new section is underlined):

Amend Subsection (c) (5) (B) of Section 5.18 (Regional Mixed Use District) by inserting the following redlined language which subsection will read as follows:

(B) Maximum height of building: 55 feet or, 79 feet by Master Plan Special Permit, or 130 feet (197 feet if a project encompasses a minimum of ten (10) acres) by Master Plan Special Permit within a defined mixed-use project, using adopted Design Guidelines provided the project includes a diversity of building heights and furthers the intent and purpose of (§5.18.a) of the RMUD.

See documents submitted by developers about the proposed tower here: https://ma-watertown3.civicplus.com/DocumentCenter/Index/1513

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