Chapin Avenue Townhouse Development Considered

The Community Planning and Development Commission held an initial site plan review for a new residential town house on 14 Chapin Avenue. The 6,000 square foot site, just east of the Mission of Deeds parking lot, is the former home of Polonski Tree Service and currently contains a small bungalow with two driveways. The lot is 100 feet deep with 60 feet of frontage on Chapin Avenue.

14 Chapin Avenue

Leonard Polonski, the developer, proposes a thirty-four foot, four inch high three-story building with four units, each with a 508 square foot two-car garage underneath. Each unit will have two bedrooms and will include a bonus room in the attic. Each unit will have 1,820 square feet of living space. The site is zoned Business B and is located in the Downtown Smart Growth District. The property also abuts a residential zone on Chapin Avenue.

Abutter Jill Mayberry spoke for the neighborhood bringing concerns about the size, height, density, and drainage of the proposed development. The proposal is one foot, three inches taller than zoning allows and would require a waiver. CPDC Chair Nicholas Safina also expressed concern about the proposed density and wisdom of squeezing this building onto such a small site. The public hearing was continued to November 6 at 7:30 PM.

The CPDC also had a continued a hearing about the development of 20-24 Gould Street – the site currently occupied by EMARC. A portion of the building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1924 and once housed the Ace Art Company, developer and manufacturer of photographic storage supplies. The proposed four-story building was presented to the CPDC on September 11 as a mixed use 40R development.

Dave Traggorth, representing the developer, made a presentation of some the changes that have been made to the plan since the September 11 public hearing. The proposed building has been reduced in square footage by 8%, from just under 65,000 square feet to just under 59,000 square feet. The number of residences has been reduced from 60 to 58, while the number of parking spaces in the garage has been increased from 61 to 64. A three-foot setback from the neighbors on the rear property line has been added, and plantings will disguise the wall of the building. The current building is directly on the property line. Five angled parking spaces have been added on Gould Street to complement the current parallel parking available adjacent to the property. Traggorth also stressed the nature of the safety precautions that would be adhered to during construction.

Pamela Adrian, representing the newly formed Gould and Green Street Neighborhood Alliance, listed eight considerations that the neighborhood would like, highlighted by a building that is only two stories tall and has 15-foot setbacks from the sides and rear of the property. Concerns were also raised by residents about noise, light, and traffic. Traggorth mentioned that the completed traffic study should be available by the end of the week and would take into account the other developments in the area. The public hearing was continued to October 16 at 8:30 PM.

CPDC adjourned at 10:35 PM.

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