Planning Board Supports Proposed Condo Building, Neighbors Have Concerns

The proposal for 101 North Beacon St. would build a three-story building with 28 condos. The new proposed condominium building at 101 North Beacon Street received good marks for its design and the fact that the units will be sold, not rented, but those living nearby worry it will have a negative impact their quiet neighborhood. On July 10, the Planning Board gave its recommendation that the project should be allowed to go ahead. The project will now go to the Zoning Board of Appeals for final approval.

Developers of Pleasant Street Project Want to Change Plans

A view of what Buildings F (left) and E would look like at 385 Pleasant St. after proposed changes to the plans. The developers of the mixed-use property at the corner of Pleasant Street and Rosedale Road, wants to reduce the height of one building, and move the residential units to another building. The project at 385 Pleasant Street includes four buildings along Pleasant Street heading toward Bridge Street, with three all-residential buildings and one with commercial on the bottom and housing units on top. A request has been submitted to the Planning Board to make changes to the plans that were approved in March 2018.

Planning Board Recommends Approval of Zoning Rules for Recreational Marijuana Facilities

The Planning Board recommended that the Town Council approves the new zoning for recreational marijuana facilities that would require them to be at least 500 feet from schools, addiction treatment centers, and other facilities. The Town Council had put a moratorium on recreational marijuana facilities for a year after the state ballot measure passed in November 2017. The changes determine where the facilities can be located. Recreational marijuana facilities would be allowed in the following zoning districts: central business, limited business, industrial 1, industrial 2, industrial 3, PSCD and the RMUD. The Town cannot zone out recreational marijuana facilities, said Steve Magoon, the Assistant Town Manager and director of Community Development and Planning.

LETTER: Resident Urges Others to Speak Out Against Increasing Height of Tower at Arsenal Yards

Dear Friends & Neighbors,

Boylston Properties (BP) is seeking a zoning change at Arsenal Yards. What the published agenda IV. 485 Arsenal Street (click here) amendment fails to disclose is that while BP is again pushing for a height increase to 197 feet at Building G, they are also asking for 80 percent of that height for any additional buildings on their site on the south side of Arsenal Street. They want to create their own separate zone within the RMUD. If approved, those buildings could go to 157.6 feet.

Planning Board Approves Having Biotech Companies at Arsenal Yards

The Planning Board gave its approval to allow biotech labs to be located on the second floor of the historic building in the former Arsenal Mall where Marshall’s is located. 

The proposal by Boylston Properties, the developer of Arsenal Yards, had been delayed a month because there were questions about whether labs where biotech research should be located in the same building where retail and restaurants will be located. There was concern that the Town of Watertown did not have the same local safeguards as other area communities. Wednesday night the Planning Board heard from the developers, who also brought in consultants who work with biotech companies and outfit buildings for such lab use. Mark Deschenes from Boylston Properties said his firm did a study of biotech companies in the area and that there are already at least 23 biotech companies in Watertown, with most in East Watertown, and a few on the Westside. He added that there are several examples of biotech companies sharing buildings with retail and other businesses, and that are located near residential buildings.

Company Seeking to Store Prefab Homes on Pleasant Street Lot

The Watertown Planning Board heard a proposal to allow prefabricated homes to be stored on Pleasant Street, across from Russo’s market, for about four months. The proposal, presented by Scott Oran of Austin Street Partners last week, would be for 527 Pleasant St., an unused lot that had been part of the parking area for Raytheon. Up to 25 modular homes built in Canada would be stored on the site until they are installed. Each home is 12 feet x 63 feet x 11 feet. The proposed timeline for the storage would be from September to December 2018.

Proposed Self Storage, R&D Building on Elm St. Pleases Planning Board

The latest proposal for the property at 30 Elm Street — which would create a self-storage facility with space for biotech and a community space —  pleased members of the Planning Board, who recommended that the Zoning Board give it final approval. Developers seek to put up the four-story, 49-foot tall building on the property behind Target which used to be the Atlantic Battery Co. Previously there was a proposal to build a five-story hotel, but it was rejected by the Zoning Board in 2015. While the majority of the building would be devoted to self storage, the front of the building would feature space for a research and development company and space for a community use, such as the Hatch maker space, said attorney Bill York, who represented 30 Elm Street Partners LLC. Architect Hans Strauch from HDS Architecture said designers wanted to make the building attractive.

Arsenal Yards Developers Seek Biotech Tenants, Planning Board Wants More Details

The latest plans by developers of Arsenal Yards to add biotech research and development space to the multi-use development have been put on hold by the Planning Board. Until now, the focus of the development has been creating new retail and residential space on the former Arsenal Mall property. Developers also have plans to renovate the historic brick buildings on the site, including Building A (where Marshall’s is located). Wednesday night Boylston Properties presented a request to change the approved plans for Building A to allow biotech tenants on the second floor. Mark Deschenes of Boylston Properties said that plans changed since Phase 1 was approved by the Planning Board in May 2017.