Steady stream of neighbors protest 'hamlet-style' development
A public hearing on a proposed hamlet-style apartment building project in the Glenmont area saw a strong turnout of residents who would neighbor the development, with the vast majority expressing their disapproval of the plans.
Kendall Square would be built at the corner of Feura Bush Road and Elsmere Avenue. The proposal calls for a total of 110 housing units, mostly apartments, to be divided into three- and eight-unit buildings. Developer Lee Rosen recently added several townhomes to the mix.
In addition, 20,000- to 40,000-square-feet of commercial space in four buildings would be built at the intersection of the roads. Sixty to 65 percent of the 17-acre lot would be preserved as green space, but that's generally federal wetland areas that would be unlawful to develop.
The project is in a hamlet zone, a result of the town's Comprehensive Plan designed to encourage neighborhood-scale mixed-use developments. The district was created as a reflection of the town's need to diversify development, said Planning Board member John Smolinsky, who was also involved in the creation of the town's Comprehensive Plan.
Out tax base consists primarily of residential, single-family development, and in a nutshell, that doesn't always pay for itself, he said.
The Planning Board scheduled the public hearing " which is not required under law " after many nearby residents protested the project. More than 20 residents spoke against it, and almost every one hailed from one of the surrounding developments like Colonial Acres, Walden Fields or Chadwick Square, all of which Rosen's father spearheaded.
By far the most often-cited concern was traffic congestion, with many residents saying they already have trouble getting out of their driveways or developments at times.
"Adding vehicles to a road that has failing or near failing grades constitutes a problem," said David Kissinger, who has co-chaired a group of Walden Fields residents opposed to the project.