Residents Start Movement to Have a Moratorium on Development on Arsenal Street

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In the wake of the Planning Board’s decision to allow a seven-story garage to be built at the Arsenal on the Charles, a effort has started to put in a moratorium to halt large buildings going up, such as the garage.

The Arsenal Street Corridor effort is lead by resident Marcia Ciro, who lives on a small side street of North Beacon Street, very close to the Arsenal complex. She said the town has already had large developments along Pleasant Street that have been unpopular with neighbors.

In the flyer she handed out at the Watertown Comprehensive Plan meeting she wrote:

“The Chair of the Planning Board [John Hawes Jr.] state that the 79 ft. for the Arsenal seemed reasonable given they already approved 79 ft. for Pleasant Street, creating the impression that the board thinks that this height should be the new standard for development in all areas of Watertown.”

The garage has been proposed as part of athenahealth’s redevelopment of the Arsenal on the Charles complex. It will have seven stories, and with a green roof will actually stand 90 feet tall and will be able to accommodate 1,800 cars. (Read more about the garage by clicking here).

Ciro said she does not oppose the redevelopment of the complex, and added she likes many of the proposals at the Arsenal on the Charles. However, there are other parcels along Arsenal Street that may soon have development proposal. Ciro said she worries that things are moving too fast, and at a when the Watertown has nearly finished its comprehensive plan.

“We propose a moratorium on the development until we can get the ideas from the Comprehensive Plan in place,” Ciro said. “We have to stop and make the zoning laws.”

She is encouraging people to contact Town Councilors sign the group’s petition and get involved in local resident groups.

The Arsenal Street Corridor group can be contacted at

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