June 26 2019

Joint Committee Meeting Discussed Proposal for Additional 300 Housing Units at Northwest Park

By: Thaddeus Stephanak

A joint meeting of the Planning Board and the Zoning By Law and Land Use committees took place recently to hear an initial overview of a proposed zoning change by Nordblom Co for Northwest Park.  

Nordblom’s Senior Vice President of Development and Director of Mixed-Use Projects Todd Fremont-Smith, represented by Bob Buckley of the firm Riemer & Braunstein, presented the proposal for up to 300 more housing units at Northwest Park. The presentation reviewed the success of Northwest Park’s 3rd Ave. mixed-use development, including the housing and its amenities. 

“There’s still room to grow at Northwest Park,” Fremont-Smith stated.

The plan is for contemporary condo quality, multi-family rental units with outdoor spaces and roof decks. Fremont-Smith said he doesn’t think they’re over building the site noting they’ve only used a fraction of the space for housing. 

“One-tenth of the development parcels for housing,” Fremont-Smith said, adding units would be “age targeted” one level with parking underneath and elevator access. 

The big question of the housing proposal is where it will be? Which is ‘to be determined.’ Fremont-Smith said they’d like it within walking distance of 3rd Ave. and “use it to connect the park more.”  

Planning Board member Joe Impemba praised the 3rd Ave. project.

“As successful as it appears to be, never had a problem with traffic, never had a problem with finding a parking space, it’s always been a pleasant experience all around,” he said.

In response to Impemba’s parking statement Planning Chair Barbara L'Heureux did note some parking issues at 3rd Ave.

“You do have some parking challenges,” she said. “As you grow you’re going to have to confront that issue because parking is available but it is tight.” 

Others in attendance noted the need for senior housing in town, which is an issue being addressed as part of the Burlington Master Plan. Benefits to the town itself were brought up including providing for the arts and theaters and other things that could bring a return to the town. Planning Board member Jack Kelly brought up the need for housing among the employees of the restaurants, who work long hours, often into the night. Attorney Bob Buckley noted the Burlington Area Chamber of Commerce and Middlesex 3 Coalition have been working successfully on shuttle services for local employees including Northwest Park. 

The three committees will have the opportunity for more detailed inquiries at their own future meetings.


 

 
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