Dedham Planning Board
January 11, 2018
Town Hall, 1st Floor Meeting Room
26 Bryant Street, Dedham, MA 02026
Board/Committee members in attendance
James E. O’Brien IV, Robert D. Aldous., Jessica Porter, John R. Bethoney, John Sisson, Economic Development Director
*This item is included to acknowledge that there may be matters not reasonably anticipated by the Chair that could be raised during the Public Comment period by other members of the Committee, by staff or others.
Call to Order: 7:06 p.m.
Pledge of Allegiance
Nordblom, Stergis Way (Kevin Hampe, Esq.): Informal discussion re: new development
Informal discussion with new owners. Kevin Hampe said they wanted to discuss ideas to work together to develop the property, which is currently zoned “highway business.” Nordblom is a 90 year old real estate firm. They designed Wegman’s Plaza in Burlington (mixed use residential, business, restaurant) and redevelopment of Boston Globe property on Morrissey Boulevard. The Stergis property is about 5.5 acres. The buildings were built in the 1950s – 60s and are outdated. It is a nice location for housing close to transit, Legacy Place, and the water. They are aware of traffic and pedestrian issues. They would need variances from existing by-laws. They are looking at 10% commercial and 200 residential units (not 500). They have had preliminary discussions with the Conservation Commission about connecting to Wigwam Pond.
JB asked what they envisioned when they purchased the property. Answer was housing, retail and tying the neighborhood together. JO asked if they looked at integrating with other parts of the area. Answer was yes.
RA asked how many buildings they envision. Answer: There are 5 existing buildings. Two in the front will remain. They would want to redevelop the other 3 buildings into one building.
JP said the proposal backs up the demand for transit-oriented development.
JB said they would have to look at increased density.
JO asked how they would deal with height. Answer: They would be looking for a height variance for a ground floor and four floors for residences. They would need a special permit.
JO asked about the timeframe. Answer: They are not in a rush. They are looking at 30-60 days to work with staff. They want to be responsive.
Jim Maher asked, as member of Parks and Recreation Commission, about recreational needs of residents. He said developers were responsible to include recreational uses. He said the area was targeted for 55+. JB said that was a different area down the road. Hampe said they would work with the town to develop recreational opportunities.
Discussion with Applicants For Associate Planning Board Member
The position gets involved with special permits. JB invited applicants to present themselves and why they were interested in the position.
Andrew Pepoli: Member of Town Meeting and Capital Expenditures Committee; works in commercial real estate; experienced with asset management, operations, development, mixed use development; understands how commercial development works and the process. Likes to see underutilized real estate get better use. He would expect to be present for all special permit project meetings. He understands the process as he has worked on development projects.
Ralph Steeves: 30-years on Planning Board; involved with numerous special permit applications, including Legacy Place and Newbridge; knows the process; would have the time for meetings.
Dignan (?): Carpenter, coach, boy scout leader, Knights of Columbus; started in residential construction; 1986 moved to union heavy construction; worked on Hebrew Senior Life, Avery, currently on ECEC; wants to protect Dedham interests; volunteered to work on master plan; wants to get involved.
JP said the posting closes on 5/11/18. JB said they can’t make a decision until after the posting closes. Suggested meeting on 5/24.
Planning Board Appointments to Town Committees
JB made motion to table because Michael Podolski was not there. Passed unanimously.
Presented by John Sisson:
He conveyed to solar company dissatisfaction with landscaping at 100-280 Rustcraft.
Ginny LeClair requested to apply for municipal vulnerability preparedness grant from state Department of Energy and Environmental Affairs. An example for Dedham would be flooding. Sisson said he did not see a downside. JO asked where the list of names came from. Sisson said he did not know if it was state-approved vendors. JB asked what the grant would accomplish. Sisson said it would allow Dedham to look at priorities, like flooding. It would not cost town. JB read letter for signature. JP pointed out that we had 4 nor’easters in March.
Motion to support grant approved unanimously.
Will get in touch soon with Raffery (?) to bring site into compliance. JB said they will wait for Podolski at next meeting.
JO discussed representation on Master Plan Implementation Committee. He spoke with a member of the committee who told him about the amount of work put into the plan already and that Jessica Porter authored a lot of it. He said she has done a wonderful job looking at other communities for the master plan. It was not fair to replace her, and he was withdrawing his name. JB asked JP if she was interested in the position. She said yes. Motion to appoint JP to Master Plan Implementation Committee passed unanimously.
Sisson brought up Panera transformer, signage and sidewalk change. JB said they would wait for Podolski at next meeting.
JB discussed lawsuit, Pro Realty v. Dedham Planning Board. There is nothing for board to do. Attorney Podolski could be at next meeting. He said Pro Realty owns BJs property and lawsuit related to issue of access/egress for Best Buy and Fridays.
Motion to adjourn at 8:10 p.m. unanimously approved.
Notes taken by Jean Zeiler
Reviewed by Heather Springer
Keywords: Sturgis Way, Master Plan Implementation Committee, Associate Committee Member
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