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Swampscott Selectmen

What are the plans for the Greenwood Avenue property now that the Appeal is no longer happening?

Patrick Jones July 15, 2014 at 01:38 PM
The zoning proposed for the site was approved by Town Meeting Members by vote. Once that was approved the developer proposed a development which conformed with the approved zoning restrictions, provided an extensive study and engineered solution to fix drainage issues that exist today as well as mitigate any issues from the proposed development, and provided traffic studies which were scrutinized by all. As a former member of the Planning Board, I do recall many meetings with the abutters and neighborhood, many (NOT ALL) disapproved with the size of the proposed development. The Planning Board reviewed and required some concessions that were within our Boards rights; however, to deny the project all together would have been in violation of the Town’s By-Laws. Neighbors did try to work with the developer. The developer was within zoning requirements. It all came down to economics – the purchase price, the cost to demolish and clean the site (which has sections classified as a “dirty site” according to the EPA) is far more than one would expect. The developer was willing to decrease the size of the development if the Town had cleaned and demolished the site, but that would require more cost than the Town would be willing to do. School would be great at this site, but that cost will have to come 100% from out Town – the state will not provide funds for extensive renovation and addition school building projects when the cost of those projects and a cost of a new building are similar which this would be. I completely disagree with the State’s direction but this is what we are dealing with in our Commonwealth. So if we are willing to forgo in the neighborhood of 48% funding from the state to aid in construction of a school building, then that may be an option for some – but not for me. I think it would make a great park but again, this could likely cost $1 million just to demolish and clean the site in accordance to EPA standards. Maybe it is worth pursuing in Open Space Grant Funding once our Town Planner re-joins Swampscott. (If the rumor is true, everyone in our town should be grateful that Mr. Kane is returning to be our Town Planner – he was a fantastic asset for our Town)! It’s not an easy solution; however, I agree with everyone one on one concept, that the process should be open, debated, discussed, and clear for all to follow.
Simon July 15, 2014 at 02:44 PM
Does anyone know what happened outside the Clarke field yesterday during the kids baseball games? I have heard someone was strangely watching in an inappropriate manner and then tried to run but got into a car accident. Just curious if anyone knows what the story is and/or if the individual was from town or not.
Myron S. Stone July 17, 2014 at 09:42 AM
Hi Connie: the neighbors like it as it is, they have their own private off street parking lot that all of us taxpayers pay to have the dpw plow, I suggested to Gino Cresta that the two entrances should be chained. I also agree with Patrick, all but one selectmen did the town a diservice by voting not to appeal, town meeting voted in favor of this, why bother to have town meetings. I attended very meeting on this project, there was a meeting in the selectmen room to select one of two bids, there was discussion and the bid was awarded to Groom, NOT ONE OF THESE NEIGHBORS WAS IN AATTENDeNCE, the when Groom was ready to start they came out of the wood work and sued the town, shame on them.
Whisky July 17, 2014 at 10:01 AM
As I said earlier we'll never know the truth, but one lawyer I talked to completely uninvolved in the case said he read the ruling that struck down the spot zoning, and in his opinion it would be very hard for the town to prevail on appeal. But again, WHAT DID THE TOWN'S COUNCIL ADVISE THE BOARD? Must that be kept a secret?
Connie July 17, 2014 at 11:33 AM
Myron, I totally agree with you. When one of these neighbors get hurt on that property they will sue again. It's a liability for the town to have it open to the public.

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