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University Station Discussions Ongoing, Plans to Come

Developers for the project met with the Westwood Planning Board Tuesday to discuss ways to approach zoning in the University Avenue area.

While officials in Westwood have yet to see the full details of what's to come for , discussions on the approach of the project are moving along at an appropriate pace. 

Developers met with the Westwood Planning Board Tuesday night to discuss how the proposal process would resume moving forward. 

The basis of the discussion, according to Westwood Planning Board Chair Jack Wiggin, was the approach for the review process that the developers are proposing. It was the second time developers discussed the matter with the Planning Board since . 

"We had given them some initial feedback, and they came in and were pretty responsive," Wiggin said. "In simplist terms, they're proposing a new overlay district to the zoning regulations that would describe the project that they would like to do."

Any such zoning bylaw would then be brought forth to a Special Town Meeting in the fall, Wiggin added.

"One of the things that we discussed was it was an ambitious time frame, but they felt they could do it," he said. "It's still a draft, it's a concept, but they made some changes. They'll be reworking that again once we start commenting on it."

However, details on what the actual project will entail, which developers touched on briefly on June 12, will be discussed at further along the review process.

"Except for the presentation of the concept plan, which is really done in the context of the review process, the details of that are still not known to us," Wiggin said. 

Meanwhile, two areas of discussion along the process will be the topic of housing at University Station, which was discussed briefly at the June 12 meeting, and that of public safety, which was not discussed at that meeting. 

"We're not surprised that they've included housing, but I think everybody will be interested to see the amount of housing," Wiggin said. "[Public safety] was pretty thorouguhly discussed in the Westwood Station project. As we were talking about the process, we were discussing the types of studies that would come, and public safety would be one of those studies."

Likewise, Westwood Board of Selectmen Chair Phil Shapiro told Westwood Patch recently that public safety will certainly be of discussion moving forward.

"We're gong to have [the developers] start to think about this, but they have to do some research or planning to come up with the answer," he said, adding that discussions with Westwood Police Chief William Chase and Fire Chief William Scoble will also need to take place. 

"There are people in town who are very excited about anything that happens there," he added, "there are people who don't want anything to happen there, and then there are people who want reasonable trade offs."

Developers will meet with the Westwood Planning Board next on Tuesday, July 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the Champage Meeting Room of the Carby Street Municipal Building.

paula from Westwood July 12, 2012 at 02:44 PM
Hi Matt: Is it correct to presume that this meeting is open to the public for attendance and comment? Thank you. http://www.townhall.westwood.ma.us/index.cfm/page/Planning-Board-Meeting-07-24-12/cdid/28054/pid/25542 Planning Board Meeting 07-24-12 Category : Land & Property Department / Board / Committee : Planning Board Type : Meeting AGENDA 7:30 PM Discussion and Consideration of Review Process for University Station Development Proposal Public Hearing for Consideration of Modification to Existing Wireless Communication Overlay District Environmental Impact and Design Review (WCOD-EIDR) Approval for Sprint Spectrum for Antennas on Fox Hill Water Tanks - 213 Fox Hill Street CLICK HERE FOR LEGAL NOTICE Continuation of Public Hearing for Consideration of Revisions to Planning Board Rules and Regulations – Comments on Subdivision Rules and Regulations, EIDR Rules and Regulations, and Special Permit Rules and Regulations New Business – Reserved for topics not reasonably anticipated to be discussed PLEASE CLICK HERE TO VIEW OFFICIAL MEETING NOTICE
Matt Perkins July 12, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Hi Paula - the meeting is similar to the Planning Board's other regularly-scheduled meetings in that it will be open to the public for attendance but it is not the same as a public hearing in that I don't believe there will be much in the way of public comment or discussion (I will certainly keep everyone updated should that change!)
Peter Hack July 13, 2012 at 02:58 AM
Matt, Thanks for the article. I think Selectmen Chair Shapiro's comment "There are people in town who are very excited about anything that happens there," he added, "there are people who don't want anything to happen there, and then there are people who want reasonable trade offs." highlights the major problem here. The first and last groups 'may' show up at town meeting in December, whereas the second group absolutely will. I know I'll be there to hear them out, but I really wish that NE Development would just get started under the current FMUOD that the Planning board spent the better part of the last year rewriting just to avoid this in the first place. I think NE Development is taking a big risk.
Dan July 14, 2012 at 06:33 AM
I'm concerned that this project won't have any of the street widening or off-ramp amenities the previous project had.

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