As most of you should be aware, the next public Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) hearing to discuss the proposed the development of 16 Berry Street / Riding Academy Preserve is scheduled for 7:30 PM next Tuesday night, 10 December 2013 at North Andover Town Hall, 120 Main Street. The developer, North Andover Holdings, intends to complete its presentation of all evidence in support of its permit application and ask the ZBA to vote on the proposal.
At present, the proposed design includes four buildings, reduced from the initial proposal for five buildings; two would be four stories in height and the others would be three stories in height. All four buildings would sit near the end of Berry Street across from the Stonewall Plaza on approximately seven acres, while the remaining 20 acres, at present, would be left as open space at the back end of the property. The proposed design also includes 196 units, reduced from the initial proposal for 240 units; 83 would be one-bedroom units, 95 would be two-bedroom, and 18 would be three-bedroom.
The Berry Street Neighborhood Association, while acknowledging some of the positive changes made by the developer, remains fast in the argument that the scope of the development is inappropriate for our neighborhood, which consists of single family homes with heights of 35 feet or less, most of which sit on one-acre parcels of land. This development would almost double the number of residents in the neighborhood and the buildings, two of which would sit within 30 feet from Berry Street, would average 60 feet in height.
The residents of the neighborhood recognize that this is a piece of property that can be developed. We realize what the value of the land is. We do not object to building affordable housing. That being said, we don’t want to see something built that would have such significant impacts to the residents of this neighborhood and the town. This development, as proposed, is inappropriate for the neighborhood given its size, scope, and potential impact to traffic and safety, and the developer’s request for waivers of specific town zoning laws in order to get the application approved, building height being one, demonstrates that.