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Zoning Changes Clear Way For Temple Sale and Development

Town meeting approved zoning items Monday setting the stage for a developer to seek Planning Board approval to construct dwellings on the Humphrey Street property

Zoning Changes Clear Way For Temple Sale and Development


Town Meeting members approved zoning changes Monday that make way for the town's sale of the temple property to Atlantic Crossing for $1.85 million.

The sale was contingent on passage of the changes including one that allows single-family dwellings on the temple property.

The developer must still assemble a project proposal and present it to the Planning Board.

Monday's approval cleared a major hurdle in the town's purchase and sale agreement with Atlantic Crossing. 

Another major hurdle that remains is Planning Board approval for the development Atlantic Crossing puts forth, said Selectman Jill Sullivan.

Atlantic Crossing will need subdivision control and site plan review approvals from the Planning Board, said Town Planner Pete Kane.

At the Special Town Meeting Monday at Swampscott High representatives from the town's precincts gave clear-cut approval for the temple district zoning changes.

After failing to gain the 2/3's majority needed for passage last spring, the zoning changes — including setback and frontage items and the number of residential dwellings — got the 2/3's needed on Monday.

Two neighbors urged the voters to defeat the proposal saying the development would be four years in the making and drive down property values on nearby streets.

But the meeting appeared eager to help bring an end to what has been a long and tumultuous process that dates to 2005 when the town bought the property with plans to build a police station.

Selectman Chairman Rick Malagrifa said he was glad to see the zoning proposal approved Monday.

Once the sale is complete the town will have $1.85 and the property will be back on the tax rolls, he said.

Selectmen approved the temple sale for $1.85 million last summer. Originally the town had planned to sell the property for $2.2 million to Atlantic Crossing but at the regular Town Meeting in May the zoning changes for the temple district failed to get approval.

The zoning changes were subsequently amended to reflect reduced development, which, in turn, influenced the town's selling price for the property.


Zoning Changes Approved on Monday

ARTICLE 3. To see if the Town will vote to amend the Zoning By-Law as follows:
SECTION   Add "single family dwellings" to the section so that it reads as follows:
"In the Temple PDD, single family or multi-family dwellings and an accessory garage or storage area, located either beside or under the dwellings, for private automobiles are allowed as of right."
SECTION    The table of PDD dimensional Regulations for the Temple PDD is amended by inserting the following:
“Multi-family" as a header in the column listing the Dimensional Requirements in the Temple PDD
A new column with the header “Single-family” listing the following Dimensional Requirements in the Temple PDD
Minimum Lot Area (sf: square feet)              4,500 sf
Minimum Lot Frontage                        50 feet
Front Yard Setback                                    15 feet
Rear Yard Setback                                    10 feet 
Side Yard Setback                                    10 feet 
Side Yard Setback                                    10 feet 
Maximum Building Coverage                          35%
Open Space Requirement                          N/A
Maximum Height                                       35 feet
Minimum Size Parking Space                          8 ft by 16 ft
Maximum Number of Dwelling Units              14
Maximum Number of Principal Structures per Lot                  1
SECTION is amended to replace the section with the following:
" Parcel Subdivision. No parcel of land in the Phillips Fire Station Planned Development District, the Burrill Senior Center Planned Development District, or the Greenwood Planned Development District may be subdivided.
or to take any action relative thereto.
Sponsored by the Board of Selectmen
Comment:  In 2011, the town issued a Request for Proposals soliciting offers for the former Temple Israel property and the Board of Selectmen voted to accept the offer submitted by Atlantic Crossing, LLC.  In order for the Atlantic Crossing, LLC to proceed with the permitting process, amendments to the Zoning By-Law as pertains to the Temple Israel Planned Development District are required.  The Board of Selectmen supports these zoning amendments.
Article 3 requires 2/3's affirmative vote to adopt for a change in zoning.

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