CPDC Review of South Main Street Project Resumes

252, 258 and 262 Main / 10 Pinevale Ave

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READING, MA — On Monday, the Community Planning and Development Commission (CPDC) resumed its review of a special permit application for the proposed project at 252, 258, and 262 Main Street and 10 Pinevale Avenue. Originally presented in December, the proposed project would combine four contiguous lots to create a 1.05-acre parcel on which a four-story mixed-use building would be constructed. The ground floor would consist of retail space and thirty residential units would be built on the upper three floors, three of which will be considered affordable.

Attorney Jesse Schomer, representing developer BLDP, Llc., informed the CPDC that an updated drainage report for the project has been submitted as well as a more complete management plan for concerns such as trash and pest control. He also shared that the project has been expanded to include new concrete sidewalks from 10 Pinevale Avenue past 2 Pinevale Avenue and around the property on Main Street. 

Schomer also explained that the parking lot has been redesigned for greater accessibility, reducing the number of spaces by two to seventy. “This is still seven over the required number,” Schomer added. During construction, he also shared that an eight-foot privacy fence will be placed on the property line adjoining 2 Pinevale Avenue.

Balconies have been added to the fourth-floor Main Street side of the building, and the balconies on the west side of the building have been recessed. Schomer asked that the board give guidance on two issues. The first is whether the fencing on the south side of the property should continue all the way to Main Street or end after the trash area. Schomer also asked the board its opinion on whether or not there should be a landscaping berm surrounding the outdoor area set aside for resident recreation.

Both CPDC chair John Weston and member Tony D’Arezzo responded that the fence ending after the trash enclosure would provide a better streetscape for pedestrians and passersby. The commission also agreed that the berm probably is not needed.

Abutter Sarah Fuller questioned whether or not the property at 10 Pinevale Avenue would meet lot size requirements if a portion of the backyard is divided into the parking lot for the new building. Schomer responded that the portion of the parking lot in question will still belong to 10 Pinevale, but an easement will be granted to the new property, resolving the issue.

Abutter Ken Rearden asked the CPDC for assurances that overflow parking from the proposed project will not end up on Pinevale Avenue. Weston responded that, although he could offer no assurance, human nature would suggest that overflow parking will more likely spill over onto the Carter and Coleman property to the south of the new building, especially given that there will now be no fencing dividing the two properties.

CPDC continued the public hearing to April 8.

Master Plan Discussion

Community Development Director Andrew MacNichol also reviewed the aspects of creating a master plan for the town with the CPDC. MacNichol shared that several major portions of what would go into a master plan, including the open space plan and the housing production plan, have already been completed. He added that other portions of the plan, such as visionary aspects and sections on transportation and pedestrian issues, will likely need updating. He also suggested that the cost for a master plan could be in excess of $250,000.

CPDC adjourned at 10:50 pm.

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