Residents Air Concerns About Galen St., Traffic & Watertown’s Planning Process

Town Councilor Lisa Feltner holds a computer showing drawings of a proposed development on Galen Street. She hosted a meeting at the Watertown Library to hear residents’ concerns about the proposed zoning change and related issues. More than 40 residents concerned about a proposed biotech project on Galen Street crammed into a meeting room at the Watertown Library Wednesday evening. They worried about what would be built there, and the traffic impact on one of the most congested roadways in town, and how projects are approved in Watertown. Those at the meeting said they would like to find a way to put a temporary halt to development, at least in the Galen Street area, so that a plan can be formed to improve the whole area.

Councilor Explains Her Decision to Delay Vote on Galen Street Zoning; Info Meeting Planned

The proposal for properties on Galen Street if requested zoning changes go through. Last week, Town Councilor Lisa Feltner decided to invoke a rule that delays the vote of the Town Council until the next meeting. The issue being considered was the rezoning of some parcels along Galen Street requested by a developer. Below you can read her letter explaining her decision. Feltner also announced that she has booked space at the Watertown Library on Wednesday night to meet with residents, and hear their concerns about the proposal.

Developer Defends Watertown After Globe Article Poo Poos Town as Biotech Destination

An illustration of the biotech tower planned for Arsenal Yards. It appeared as part of an ad taken out by Boylston Properties defending Watertown as a biotech destination after a Boston Globe article that said Kendall Square is the place to be. The owners of Arsenal Yards leapt to the defense of Watertown after a Boston Globe published an article about biotech bigwigs snubbing the town as a place to set up business. The Jan. 26 Boston Globe article interviewed biotech execs and investors who said that Cambridge’s Kendall Square remains the place to be.

Zoning Changes Wanted to Create Galen St. Project, Councilor Wants More Community Input

The proposal for properties on Galen Street if requested zoning changes go through. Owners of properties along Galen Street and Water Street seek zoning changes so they can build a biotech complex with a park, but the District Councilor said she wants the public to be able to weigh in before the change goes through. Tuesday night, Boston Development Group came forward requesting the zoning change. The developers have purchased a number of properties east of Galen Street, and while more than 80 percent of the land is in the Industrial 2 (I-2) zone, about 17 percent is zoned as Limited business. They have requested that all the parcels be zoned I-2.

Watertown Given Protection from 40B Projects by Using Little Used Method

The Town of Watertown has some protection from having dense residential projects allowed under the Chapter 40B law after being certified by the state that the Town meets a rarely used qualification. Under Chapter 40B, communities in Massachusetts have to meet certain level of affordable housing or else they must allow the construction of housing projects with 25 percent affordable housing. Watertown currently requires 15 percent of units to be affordable new apartment complexes. To qualify to avoid a Chapter 40B project, communities can get “Safe Harbor” by having 10 percent or more of its housing units sold or rented at affordable rates. Some communities have met that criteria, but Watertown does not (it has just over 7 percent).

Large 40B Apartment Complex Proposed for Sterritt Lumber Site

An illustration of the 40B apartment complex proposed for 148 Waltham St., the former Sterritt Lumber site. Developers proposing to build a 40B apartment complex on the site of the former Sterritt Lumber location will host a community meeting on the project. The community meeting will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020 from 7-9 p.m. in the Lecture Hall at Watertown High School, 50 Columbia St. The project is proposed for the Sterritt Lumber site at 148 Waltham St.

Planned Pleasant St. Marijuana Dispensary to be Discussed at Community Meeting

The company seeking to open a marijuana dispensary on Pleasant Street on the Westside of Watertown will hold a community meeting about the project on Feb. 6. The announcement was provided by Bud’s Goods & Provisions Corp., the firm seeking to open the adult-use marijuana dispensary at 330-350 Pleasant St. The dispensary would be part of the new mixed-use development going up near the intersection of Pleasant Street and Rosdale Road. According to the presentation sent to the Town, Bud’s would occupy a 5,000 sq.

Five Story Apartment Building Approved on Main Street in Watertown

A view of 164-166 Main Street, a five story apartment building with a commercial space on the ground floor. A new building will be added to Watertown’s skyline near Watertown Square after the Zoning Board of Appeals approved a five story apartment building on Main Street. The approval of the project at 164-166 Main Street was made Wednesday night. The site used to be occupied by a convenience store (Store 24 then Tedeschi’s and briefly 7-Eleven) and sits across from Town Hall. The building will have four stories with 34 apartments, on top of a garage and commercial or office space.