By Melanie Petrucci, Contributing Writer
Westborough – Reid Blute, vice president of Pulte Homes in Westborough, appeared before the Board of Selectmen at their Sept. 12 meeting to gain their approval for Pulte’s conceptual plan for redevelopment of the Westborough State Hospital property. A total of 700 units, all age-restricted (at least one person 55 or over; no one under the age of 18) is being planned.
Pulte is set to move from the due diligence to the permitting stage. The next step is to go before the Planning Board for special permits before coming back to the selectmen for site plan review. The board unanimously approved the conceptual plan.
Blute’s presentation included a PowerPoint presentation of artists renderings of what the campus-style development will look like.
“There are a lot of similarities here to the plan that we proposed with the purchase and sale agreement, but there have also been some revisions and tweaks and improvements that have been worked out between the town and the state,” Blute said.
The “Del Webb Chauncy Lake” Project, a Mixed-use District, allows for senior living and includes two vehicular access points off of Lyman Street and off of Hospital Road (newly renamed Dr. Solomon Carter Fuller Way). The layout includes 14 four-story buildings, each with 50 units with underground parking garages, arranged around a central green common space. Each unit will contain either one of two bedrooms in a single floor design.
Lifestyle features of the development will also include an amenity center, fitness center, pool, tennis courts, ballroom, library and access to walking and biking trails. The project was designed with as much open space as possible. Attention was given to adhering to the town’s conceptual open space master plan.
Blute noted that three buildings owned by the state – Allen Hall, Zara Cisco Brough and Sharp – will remain as is. There is a dilapidated building that the commonwealth did not need on the property retained by the state that will be transferred to the town to be included in the sale of the land to Pulte who will then demolish the structure.
The issue of granting temporary and permanent utility and access easements for relocating utilities under town property will be authorized at Town Meeting in October. Pulte will be demolishing structures that will continue to exist on town property and easements will be necessary to undertake this work.
The final point that Blute wanted the board to support was the reduction of the percentage of Affordable Housing units from 20 to 10 percent. Blute said that there have been some challenges in seeking residents who qualify.
Selectmen George Barrette and Leigh Emery both raised concerns over the reduction in affordable housing units. Town Manager Jim Malloy relayed that this issue will be ironed out during special permitting through the Planning Board. Blute was scheduled to meet with the Planning Board at its meeting Sept. 19.