Abutters to a proposed apartment complex on Lake Street in Waltham are decrying the plans saying it would exacerabte traffic problems and alter the character of the residential neighborhood.
The project plans call for a 23-unit complex on a 33,000 square foot site between 48-54 Lake St., according to developer documents. The building would stand four stories high. Despite the plans stating 23 units would be built, Attorney Philip McCourt, who represents the developer, said that would be the maximum number of units, not necessairily the amount that would be constructed.
Del Mar Realty Trust, of Waltham, owns the site and is proposing the complex. Walter E. Ohnemus and Rick Pizzi are the trustees of Del Mar Realty Trust.
First, however, developers must clear some city hurdles. At a Monday, Sept. 10 City Council meeting, the developers officially requested the Council rezone the area from Residential A-3 to Business B, which would allow the apartment complex, but also other business-related uses. If rezoned, developers would still have to seek a special permit to construct the complex at the site.
The proposal drew more than 100 residents, supporters and opponents to the Monday hearing. Project abutters strongly objected during the hearing, saying it would increase traffic in an already busy area. Many also said they would rather see residential homes on the property than an apartment complex. Supporters of the project, however, said they would prefer that complex and that the traffic impact would be minimal.
PROPOSAL FOR ZONING CHANGE
- McCourt, who represents Del Mar Relaty Trust, said the site is more suitable for an apartment complex than residential homes.
- The complex would also provide a buffer between between single-family homes in the area and "undesireable uses," according to McCourt. “No one wants business,” McCourt said. The complex, he argued, would not depress the values of nearby homes.
- McCourt said the developers have no intention of developing a business complex at the site.
- Melissa Rossi, who lives nearby on Bowdoin Avenue, said she would rather see an apartment complex than another use, including a funeral parlor or dry cleaner.
- Carl Zinnell, of Silver Hill Lane, said he supported the zone change because it “will serve to improve the area. I believe development at this particular location ... would clean up what appears to be more of a commericlal-looking use."
- Annette Reynolds, a realtor who lives near the Lake Street site, said she didn't support the project because it would worsen traffic issues for the road that she said is already dangerous because of speeding motorists. Also, Reynolds said nearby residents bought their homes expeting to live in a residential area and not a business zone.
- Joseph Kelly, a resident of nearby Nutting Road, said he bought his home three years ago expecting to live in a residential neighborhood, and did not want to see that change. He also objected to any light from the complex spilling into his house.
- Dean MacLaughlin, of Indian Road, criticized the project saying the parking for it would spill onto his street.
- City Councilor Gary Marchese criticized the developers, saying they had not done much outreach to nearby residents, which he said reflected in the number of opponents to the project. "I don’t know why you haven’t been able to reach out to the neighbors and get some support,” Marchese said.
- McCourt retorted by saying they had not been invited to a recent meeting of residents to discuss the project and have not had a chance to speak with them. Despite saying they had not had a chance to speak to residents, McCourt said developers had spoke to some residents who McCourt said supported the project.
The matter was sent to the Ordinance and Rules Committee for a Oct. 15 meeting. The Board of Survey and planning will discuss the project during an Oct. 3 meeting.