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WVN Newsletter #183: Will TC design change?

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  • waylandvoters1
    Dear Wayland Voter, The Planning Board continues evaluating the developers concept for the town center shopping/housing/office project on Route 20. Molly
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 19 7:49 PM
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      Dear Wayland Voter,

      The Planning Board continues evaluating the developers'
      concept for the town center shopping/housing/office project on
      Route 20. Molly Upton reports.

      MEETINGS

      Wednesday, Sept. 20, 7:30 p.m. The Planning Board continues
      discussing the concept plan for the mixed use overlay district.

      Thursday, Sept. 21, 7:30 p.m. Conservation Commission public
      hearing on the controversial proposal to use up to $300,000 in
      Community Preservation Act funds to help pay for artificial turf at
      the high school football field.

      Wednesday, Sept. 27, 7:30 p.m. The Wayland DPW
      Assessment Committee will meet to hear public comment on
      establishing a public works department. The committee was
      established by the selectmen last year to assess the advisability
      of consolidating infrastructure activities in one department as
      Weston, Concord, Sudbury and other towns have done. The
      DPW Assessment Committee plans to make a recommendation
      later this year to the selectmen.

      All meetings at the Town Building.

      PLANNERS EVALUATE TOWN CENTER CONCEPT

      The Planning Board is moving ahead with evaluating the concept
      plan for the mixed use overlay district (aka Town Center)
      submitted on Aug. 1 by Twenty Wayland LLC. In the first meeting,
      the developers explained the ideas behind the proposed design,
      and the Planning Board's consultant, The Cecil Group, elegantly
      pointed out that the design drew its heritage from the
      neoclassical Beaux Arts style of planning new towns that
      emphasized symmetry and scale rather than New England
      townscapes that grew organically, often along curving roads.

      The submitted plan stresses straight streets, long sight lines, a
      formal-looking green space, and large condominium buildings
      hugging the northwesterly area adjacent to the river.

      The plans may be viewed at
      http://www.wayland.ma.us/planning/Towncenterproposal/MUOD
      _downloads.htm

      The unspoken issue throughout this exercise is the cognitive
      disconnect between the fact that most New England towns have
      almost no large stores of 5,000 square feet or more, and a great
      concentration of small stores of less than 2,500 square feet.
      However, the plan presented opts for the maximum allowed
      store size in nearly every category, so only 4 of 21 stores are at
      2,500 or less. Thus the challenge is how to intermix stores of
      3,000 square feet or more into a design that resembles a town
      rather than a conventional shopping center.

      The zoning bylaw requires a minimum of seven stores at 5,000
      square feet or less; the current plan shows 12 stores in this size
      range. There has been no discussion on the mix of store sizes.

      Jody Kablack, the Sudbury town planner, voiced three concerns:
      the view of buildings from the river, traffic, and impact on
      directional traffic (she favors access from Route 27). She also
      suggested a traffic light at Landham Road and Route 20 and
      encouraged linking trails between the two towns.

      In the second meeting, the Planning Board reviewed aspects of
      Sudbury, Concord and Weston centers that might be
      incorporated into the Wayland effort. Concord, for instance, has
      signs jutting from the buildings to assist the pedestrian. In
      Weston, the signs resembled "billboards," according to one
      member. Several members liked the informal aspect of the
      Sudbury green, which seemed to offer several smaller, distinct,
      although connected spaces through the use of trees and
      shrubs.

      There was some difference of opinion on whether Twenty
      Wayland LLC would offer a new design for the board's
      consideration before moving to the next phase of site plan
      approval. At the end of the meeting, Twenty Wayland
      representatives urged the Planning Board to try to develop
      different designs using tracing paper over the existing plan. The
      board also mentioned marking off on the property major items of
      the existing plan so they could grasp the scale.

      Chair Lynne Dunbrack has repeatedly suggested creating
      several buildings that look like single-family homes but are in
      fact multifamily dwellings to help integrate residential with
      commercial areas. In a previous meeting, Selectman Bill
      Whitney observed that the current layout gives great visual
      prominence to the 15,000-square-foot drug store at the end of
      the main street.

      TRAFFIC STUDY

      After much deliberation by a joint meeting of the Planning Board,
      Board of Road Commissioners and the selectmen, an RFP
      (request for proposal) was issued for a peer review of traffic
      studies to be submitted by the developer. The question remains:
      if the developer's studies are incomplete, can the traffic
      consultant be asked to fill in the missing data? The Planning
      Board has been asking for the developer's traffic study and
      expected to receive it this week.

      Traffic was one of several issues covered by the Massachusetts
      Environmental Policy Act letter requiring further information for
      the Environmental Impact Review (See WVN #181)
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waylandvotersnetwork/message/
      192

      DANFORTH

      Former selectman Linda Segal reminded the Planning Board
      that as a result of a 2005 negotiated settlement, the town has a
      substantial sum of money to be spent on mitigating project
      impacts. In addition to upgrading the West Plain/Old
      Connecticut Path intersection, money was earmarked for a
      monitoring well on the Wayland side of the Sudbury River to
      assess drinking water, both pre- and post-development, and that
      Wayland should start implementing its planned activities before
      building starts at the site. She also noted the concept design
      plans presented at the latest Framingham Planning Board
      hearing showed a large 26-unit apartment building adjacent to
      Pod Meadow.

      Developer Pulte Homes is submitting its documents
      electronically to Framingham, which should help Wayland
      officials and residents remain informed. The project has been
      renamed Danforth Green, and 525 new housing units will be
      built at the New England Sand & Gravel site just over the
      Wayland town line.
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      Thanks.
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      Michael Short, Editor
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