Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

Zoning Board of Appeals, May 16, 2023

  • Meeting of the Arlington Zoning Board of Appeals on May 16th

The Arlington Zoning Board of Appeals held a meeting on May 16th to discuss the development project at 10 Sunnyside Avenue. The meeting was conducted remotely in accordance with the provisions of an act signed into law on March 29, 2023, which allows public bodies to hold meetings remotely until March 31, 2025.

  • Discussion on Traffic and Parking

The main focus of the meeting was on traffic and parking. A traffic impact study was presented, which found that Sunnyside Avenue does not produce much traffic and that the project would not significantly impact traffic at either intersection. The project proposes 43 units of affordable housing with 21 parking spaces, which is a 54% reduction from the 39 spaces required by zoning. The developer is seeking a variance for this reduction. The board will continue discussions with the town and the applicant regarding any requested mitigation measures.

  • Ground Floor Layout and Bike Parking

The applicant’s team presented updates on the ground floor layout to accommodate bike parking, in adherence to the Arlington bicycle parking guidelines. The project will provide 69 long-term bike parking spaces and eight short-term bike parking spaces.

  • Concerns about Traffic and Safety

The committee members raised concerns about the traffic counts, accident data, pedestrian and bicycle traffic, and delivery logistics related to the project. They expressed concern about the nature of accidents at Broadway and L. F. Parkway and the number of people crossing Broadway at Sunny Side to reach the bus station. The committee also discussed the logistics of bike parking at the ground level of the proposed building, including how residents on bicycles would access the garage.

  • Potential Impact of Development on Traffic and Parking

The committee discussed the potential impact of the development on traffic and parking. They questioned whether the new development would significantly increase the number of people crossing the street at the bus stop, especially given the low parking availability and the assumption that many residents would be using public transit. The committee was informed that the two most comparable buildings to the proposed development have ample parking, and that potential tenants would be informed about the limited parking availability.

  • Public Concerns about the Development

Members of the public expressed concerns about the potential impact of the development on traffic, pedestrian safety, and access to facilities in Arlington. They also expressed concerns about the potential for the development to be isolated from the rest of the town and for residents to be reliant on public transit. The committee was urged to consider these concerns in their decision-making process.

  • Community Members’ Concerns and Suggestions

Community members raised concerns and suggestions regarding traffic, bicycle commuting, and pedestrian safety. Issues discussed included the accessibility and legality of a certain access point to the bike path near 35 Sunnyside Street, the installation of a crosswalk at the Sunnyside Broadway intersection, and the issue of parking availability.

  • Affordable Housing and Related Concerns

The committee discussed the directives given by subsidy providers to applicants for comprehensive permits for affordable housing, which included reducing parking. They also discussed the issue of handicap parking within the garage of the proposed affordable housing project and the potential impact of the development on traffic and parking in the neighborhood.

  • Next Meeting and Adjournment

The committee agreed to reconvene on June 13th to primarily discuss architectural issues and to have their consultant provide an overview of his thoughts. The committee also tentatively scheduled another meeting for July 11th. The meeting concluded with the committee members expressing their gratitude to everyone present and looking forward to their next meeting on the 23rd.



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