Environment, Safety Among Concerns For Affordable Housing Complex

Developers will meet again with the city next month.

In a public hearing Tuesday night, developers of a proposed affordable housing apartment complex along Route 20 met with the Zoning Board of Appeals to hear officials and residents' concerns.

“Brookview Village” would include 243 rental units on an 18.73 acre plot of land along Route 20 near Ames Street. The developers would be using previously designated industrial land for a residential use—a choice made because there is much larger demand for places to live with a much smaller supply, said Arthur Bergeron, legal representative for the Gutierrez Company.

This development is “only sucessful if it’s really part of the community,” said Ted Doyle, a spokesman for the Gutierrez Company, adding that concern “is a normal parameter for these kinds of projects.”

This is “an ideal location," Bergeron said. As of Tuesday night, the developers were proposing six waivers from local building regulations to continue with the project. 

Fire safety and the continued preservation of the area around the proposed development were among concerns expressed by meeting attendees. Resident Ron Bucchino said the plans had not considered all environmental impacts, adding that a second opinion should be brought in to review preservation issues before a decision was made.

One industrial business in the area of the proposed complex said building a residential complex in a legally designated industrial area would be a nuisance to both residents and workers in the area.

John Pears, the architect of Brookview Village, presented plans for the development, including floor plans of the studio and one, two and three bedrooms apartments, the parking areas and front and rear views of the buildings. The development aims to minimize encroaching upon both established residents and nearby tenants and upon the land itself, using a natural hill in the space to help build to the desired five stories and keep existing landscape as a boundary to nearby houses. “We will try to excavate as little as possible so as not to disturb trees,” he said.

With many adjustments to be made before a decision can be reached, the board should prioritize what they want to see at the next meeting, said Matt Elder, city councilor. Elder voiced his opposition to the project and added that he would try to gather more residents to show the widespread criticism of the project.

The public hearing will continue Sept. 4.

Mbr1 August 08, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Oh--and the six waivers were discussed at the meeting--exactly the same type of things that developers ask for in any project (parking, height, etc.). Can't believe anyone would rather have industial use than housing in their back yard.
c17a3 August 08, 2012 at 07:47 PM
1, 2, & 3 bedroom apartments 5 stories high...just call it what it really is a new housing project. Marborough has meet the states affordable housing percentage just say NO THANKS. Any elected official who gives this housing project the green light loses my vote next election cycle.
Alexandra Macfarlane August 08, 2012 at 08:40 PM
Hi Arnold, just a word about the waivers. In the meeting, the developers changed which and how many waivers they were asking for. We are in touch with them on what the exact specifications are and we will get back to you soon. We will let you know what we hear!
Neil Licht August 08, 2012 at 09:06 PM
So a develpoer bought a site on spec and failed to get it approved for its original use. Now they want us to build affordable housing when we are already at the required level set by the state. Sorry developer. Go eat your losses because there is no legal need for what you proposed and essentially you made a bad investment that you now want the city to bail you out from. NOPE!!!! Come on folks, would we get this type of variances as private citizens. Resist this now and say no. Neil Licht
Neil Licht September 27, 2012 at 06:46 PM
How much does it cost in added services v the tax revenue we get? Thats more space in our schools, more students to add as a teaching cost, more roads to maintain, more sewerage to add and maintain, more policing area to cover, etc. Then there's more burden on hospitals. A CDA study awhile back said that for every added $1 in new residential developments tax revenue, it cost $1.25 in government services cost to our city. Prove me wrong if you can but more people has to mean more services and stretching existing resources. Why do that when we do not have to???? Neil Licht


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