Inside Arlington

Experimental News Digest for Arlington, MA

Zoning Board of Appeals, May 25, 2023

Meeting for 1021-1027 Massachusetts Avenue

  • Subsidizing Agency of Mass Housing and Housing Inventory: The committee reviewed the subsidizing agency of mass housing and the housing inventory, which stood at 6.54% as of April 27, 2022.
  • Sidewalk Condition and Accessibility: The committee found the sidewalk along Massachusetts Avenue to be in fair condition but not in compliance with state and federal accessibility guidelines. The applicant agreed to repair the nearby crosswalk.
  • Traffic Study and Parking Restrictions: A traffic study indicated sight lines for traffic exiting the parking area would be diminished by parking vehicles along Massachusetts Avenue. The committee recommended pursuing parking restrictions with the town for the area immediately south of the driveway.
  • Crosswalk Accessibility: The existing mid-block crosswalk on Massachusetts Avenue, located approximately 425 feet south of the site, was found to be faded and not meeting accessibility standards.
  • Conservation Commission and Bicycle Parking: The project requires an order of conditions from the Conservation Commission pursuant to the Wetlands Protection Act. The committee also discussed the need for bicycle parking and the proximity of the project to bus stops served by Route 77.
  • Civil Engineering Aspects: The committee discussed the clear cutting of trees from the site, including a healthy London plane tree, and the operation and maintenance erosion sedimentation control program for the proposed stormwater management system.
  • Affordable Home Ownership Units and Historic Status: The project has the potential to substantially increase the number of permanently affordable home ownership units in Arlington without subsidy from the town. The committee also discussed the historic status of the existing building at 1021-1023 Massachusetts Avenue.
  • Project Scale and Tree Canopy: Concerns were raised about the project’s scale and the elimination of the existing tree canopy, which could lead to an increase in heat island effects in the area.
  • Final Plans Submission: The committee discussed the need for the submission of final drawings and plans for review and approval by the town. These plans should conform to the requirements of the comprehensive permit and incorporate all relevant conditions and requirements of permitting agencies having jurisdiction.
  • Pre-construction Submission Requirements: The committee discussed the submission requirements for pre-construction, with the aim of avoiding any ambiguity when reviewing the final plans.
  • Construction Mitigation Plan and Demolition Permit: The committee discussed the need for the applicant to submit a final construction mitigation plan and to obtain a demolition permit, as there is an existing building on the site.
  • Condominium Association Documents: The committee discussed the need for the applicant to submit a copy of the condominium association master deed, trust, and rules and regulations to the board for review.
  • On-street Parking Spaces: The committee discussed the need for the applicant to consider requesting two on-street parking spaces in front of the project be designated as short-term parking or loading spaces.
  • Site Lighting: The committee discussed the need for the applicant to install lighting on the site that conforms to the town of Arlington zoning bylaws and town bylaw.
  • Construction Activities and Parking Spaces: The committee discussed construction activities, which are to be conducted between 7am to 6pm from Monday to Friday and between 8am and 5pm on Saturdays, with no construction activities on Sundays. Each dwelling unit is to be provided one parking space to be allocated by the condominium association.
  • Fire Safety Measures: The residential structure is to be fully sprinkled to NFPA regulations and the provision of emergency contact names and telephone numbers for representatives of the unit owners and the Arlington police department and fire department.
  • Bond Provision and Other Conditions: The committee discussed the provision of a bond by the applicant, with the committee deciding to strike this condition due to the lack of a bond amount from the conservation commission.
  • Millbrook Condominium Property: The committee discussed the need for monitoring the property for two years, with particular attention to the areas immediately adjacent to Millbrook.
  • Tree Protection and Onsite Mitigation: The committee discussed the need to protect all area trees on the property in accordance with town regulations. The need for onsite mitigation as part of the project, which should remain in perpetuity, was also discussed.
  • Impervious Increase and Tree Canopy: The committee discussed the mitigation of the increase of impervious around a project site and the significant loss of existing tree canopy. The applicant is expected to provide and maintain three additional street trees of the same species as those provided on the project site for three years.
  • Tree Fund and Wetlands Protection Act: The committee discussed the applicant’s obligation to pay into the town’s tree fund. The committee also reviewed the order of conditions issued under the commission’s review under the Wetlands Protection Act.
  • Comprehensive Permit: The committee concluded the meeting by granting the applicant a comprehensive permit for the construction of 50 homeownership condominium units in a single structure along with commercial space.
  • Future Meetings: The committee agreed to continue the meeting for 1021-1027 Massachusetts Avenue to Tuesday, May 30th, 2023 at 8pm. The committee’s subsequent meetings were scheduled for June 13th, for the comprehensive permit for Sunnyside, and June 20th for a regular meeting. The next meeting after June 20th was scheduled for July 11th for 10 Sunnyside.



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