A proposed retail center at Albany Shaker and Everett roads has spurred a neighborhood association into action after more than two decades in dormancy.
The Green Meadows Civic Association is made up of roughly 70 residents who live in the 30-year old subdivision abutting the proposed retail center.
Crisafulli Associates LLC has pitched Loudon Square, a 19,100-square-foot office, retail and restaurant plaza to town planners to replace the existing Shaker Road Fence Co. at the 2.3-acre site.
As many as 90 people from Green Meadows turned out for the Tuesday, Sept. 25, planning board meeting in opposition to the proposal. The same group has met several times since then.
In the latest meeting, which was at the Desmond Hotel and Conference Center Thursday, Oct. 25, it was agreed that the neighborhood association would be reinstated in order to take on the proposed retail center.
Site developers and the association will square off again at a Tuesday, Nov. 13, planning board meeting.
We understand that the property is zoned NCOR (neighborhood commercial office residential). So just about everything can go in there. The owner has a right to sell, and the developer has a right to build. But nobody wants a strip mall or a restaurant down there, said Frank Pugliano, association member and 27-year resident of Green Meadows.
The site is the last in a south-to-north span of Everett Road zoned for mixed residential and commercial uses.
However, both entrances to the neighborhood straddle the property in question, said Pugliano. If built, several properties would have a busy retail center and restaurant in the backyard, not to mention the additional traffic on an already busy road and intersection.
"It's a lot of things. The traffic is one of the major pieces. It's difficult to get out of the development, it's difficult to get in," said Judith Tate, a Green Meadows resident since 1976 and the de facto leader of the Green Meadows Civic Association.