Board of Appeals to Host Hearing on Carlisle Road Housing Proposal

The ZBA will hear about a large Carlisle Road multi-unit housing development on Thursday. Rendering from

After almost two-and-a-half years working its way through the process, the multi-unit housing development proposed for the north side of Carlisle Road reaches its final stop Thursday: on the agenda of the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA).

The public hearings begin at 7 p.m. in the Reed Room, Town Hall’s ground-floor meeting room. The agenda says the Carlisle Road proposal will come up around 7:30 p.m.  

Landscape architect and attorney Brian DeVellis is proposing a complex of single-family houses, duplexes, triplexes, townhouses, and a three-story apartment totaling 120 units on about 35 acres. Closer to the junction with North Road, plans call for a 51-unit apartment building for residents at least age 55 on a 14-acre site.

The overall plan is designed as a Local Initiative Project (LIP) because under state law, it can bypass zoning density requirements as long as at least 25 percent of the units meet the state definition of affordable housing. The process culminates with a comprehensive permit from the Board of Appeals. The LIP has been endorsed by the Housing Partnership and Select Board, as required under the law.

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DeVellis said he has received confirmation of project eligibility from the state Department of Housing and Livable Communities for the larger segment, and expects the state agency to sign off as well on the senior housing by the end of May. 

He said Thursday’s hearing, the first formal meeting with the ZBA, will include an explanation of the LIP process and an overall presentation, “how we got here, what we’ve got in place already, where we want to go.” He expects to be accompanied by Attorney Pamela Brown. “We’re willing to take our time,” he said.

Details will be limited to the western parcel. “When the state approval comes, we will roll into the permit a second application for the east side, but want to let the board know that both are master planned in accordance with the Select Board and state’s consent,” DeVellis said.

There has been some opposition from nearby residents to the magnitude of the project. DeVellis has maintained that the size and variety of housing types are in direct response to the town’s 2019 housing study and most recent comprehensive plan.  He acknowledged that “as with every project, traffic is going to be an issue.”

He noted that he has hosted more than a dozen meetings, some for nearby residents and others for the entire town.

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