With developments along Arsenal Street coming closer and closer, residents have requested that new projects take into account the residential areas near where they will be built, and get that these areas get the some of same protections as the Charles River.
Many projects focus on the front of the development and the look from the street, but residents at the Comprehensive Plan Review meeting said their homes should also be taken into account.
“Developments need to be blended into the fabric of the neighborhood,” said resident Rena Baskin.
She suggested having rules about where green space should go so that developers know what to expect.
“They should have green space, not in the middle of the building but near the neighborhood or on the river,” Baskin said.
Some areas of town already have special rules for how In the Pleasant Street Corridor on the Westside of town, projects that back up against the Charles River are required to be built farther back from the property line than other areas. Proposals have been made to require buildings on the river over two stories “step back” or pushed back 15 feet from the rear facade above the second story.
The transition zones between industrial properties and residential areas will be a topic of discussion at a meeting of the Council’s Economic Development and Planing subcommittee on Aug. 14.
Before then, one of the major projects on Arsenal Street will be heard by the Zoning Board of Appeals for final approval. The 202-204 Arsenal Street project which includes nearly 300 apartments, a market and a restaurant, is on the agenda for the ZBA’s July 15 meeting.
Resident groups have requested other ways for the town to slow down and examine development on Arsenal Street and around town. They want a moratorium on major projects along Arsenal Street, and a special Town Council meeting will be held the day before the ZBA meeting. The meeting will be in Town Hall at 6 p.m. on July 22.
At Tuesday night’s Town Council meeting, the Concerned Citizens Group requested that the town hire a consultant to look at development on Arsenal Street from Watertown Square to the edge of the Lexus dealership and the Arsenal on the Charles. They brought in a petition with 205 signatures and hope to come up with a plan that takes residential areas into account.
If hired right away, the consultant could conduct the study without major inconvenience to property owners or developers, said CCG member David Sprogis.
Town Councilor Aaron Dushku requested that town officials research the price of hiring a consultant as requested by the Concerned Citizens Group.
(Correction: The Zoning Board discussed 202-204 Arsenal St. on July 15 not the 23rd.)