Abutters to the Crooked Meadows condominium project continued to protest its size, arguing it would worsen traffic and increase noise at a meeting of the appeals board November 21.
The Chapter 40B project in Hatchville would create 12 dwelling units, three of which would be affordable housing, in the 1.91 acres of the property. Each unit would be about 1,150 square feet, with three bedrooms and 2½ baths.
The three affordable housing units would sell for $220,000. The nine market units would sell for $339,000.
Michael Borselli, engineer for the developer, presented revised plans for the project at the public hearing after addressing previous concerns from an October meeting.
And similar to last time, abutters of the project had a lot to say.
Dianne M. Wells, a resident on Crooked Meadow Road, said she is not opposed to the project as a whole, but thinks it is too dense for the neighborhood and will increase noise and traffic.
“Our neighborhood is quiet, it’s tight-knit, and we care about one another,” Ms. Wells said. “But the way this project is being forced down our throats in a very tight area, that’s the problem.”
Timothy R. Smith, who lives on Deer Pond Road behind Crooked Meadow Road, said he appreciates that Nick Mirrione, the applicant’s representative, has reached out to the neighbors. He thinks, however, that the number of structures is too much. He suggested the zoning board of appeals look at the property and the plot lines to assess possible encroachment.
Jeffrey N. Felty, who lives on Crooked Meadow Road, said in the summer getting out of his driveway is an “adventure,” and that there is too much traffic in the area for a project that large.
“This project is way too big for this neighborhood,” Mr. Felty said. “You say it’s a little project in this neighborhood. It‘s too much space.”
Dan E. Hallinan, who lives on Deer Pond Road, wants the zoning board of appeals to cut the project down to a smaller number of structures.
“I would request that you cut the project down to where you don’t have such an intense number of buildings right behind me, packed in there,” Mr. Hallinan said. “It’s a great neighborhood. I’m afraid [of] the direction that it’s going in.”
Some also suggested cutting down the size of some of the dwelling units, from three-bedroom to two.
Mr. Borselli said that they considered building two-bedroom units, as they are popular, but said they do not sell for the same price.
“Building a two-bedroom unit, the cost will not go down significantly because of the fixed elements,” Mr. Borselli said, pointing to kitchens, bathrooms, and septic and heating systems. “All those things remain the same. It would just cut the square footage down a little bit.”
Appeals board member Robert Dugan suggested eliminating the guest parking spaces to help offset the increased traffic flow in the neighborhood.
“Each unit will still be allowed two spaces,” Mr. Dugan said. “But adding those other guest spaces in a project this size and this density is going to increase the traffic generation on that road. Without eliminating building issues, I think that would be the best.”
MassHousing approved the project, stating that the resulting density of the 12 homes is 6.28 units per buildable acre, which is acceptable given the proposed housing type.
A traffic study that would determine what kind of impact the project would have on traffic has not been completed, Mr. Borselli said in the public hearing.
Mr. Borselli will submit trip generation numbers at a December 12 meeting.
There was also some confusion about whether there would be a condominium association, and if so, who would pay the fees. Mr. Borselli said he intended that the previous owner would pay the $2,400 fee, but Mr. Dugan said the previous owner has no responsibility to do that, and it is up to the current owner.
Mr. Borselli foresees the project being approved as is, despite neighboring complaints.
“The general opinion of the neighbors appears to be negative because it’s new,” Mr. Borselli said in a phone interview. “I see no reason why it shouldn’t be approved as is....The state has already issued an approval letter.”