By Vicki Greene, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – It’s been almost one year of multiple site plan reviews, amended plans, a public hearing and discussions with the City Council for a new mixed use development. And at its Oct. 7 meeting, the Council approved a Special Permit for the development known as E on Main, at 161-175 Main St. A red partition is now up between the property and the sidewalk for safety prior to demolition and construction.
The property is owned by Vincenza Sambataro of Wayland who was approved to construct the mixed-use development to include commercial units on the first floor, 67 residential units and 43 parking spaces. The permit will also allow for a seventh story roof deck.
Building Commissioner Jeffrey Cooke said though the area is blocked off a demolition permit has not yet been requested by the property owner.
“Nothing will happen until at least Nov. 12,” Cook said. “[Mayor Arthur Vigeant] has asked that any work wait until after the Veterans Day parade because of possible safety issues.”
According to Cooke, once demolition begins with the buildings on the east and west sides of the vacant piece of the property, sidewalks will be torn up to access water and sewer lines along with the pouring of the foundation. Once the demolition process is completed and the foundation poured, Cook said it will be inspected before an actual building permit is issued.
A public hearing was held in April and two residents spoke in opposition to the project with concerns about noise in the residential area behind the building. In addition, City Councilors had multiple discussions about the height (81 feet) and use of the roof deck because the project is within 50 feet of a residential zone.
During discussions at the City Council’s Urban Affairs Committee and Planning Board meetings the noise concerns were discussed, and the owner amended the plans for the roof deck agreeing to move any sound speakers, firepit and areas that could amplify sound, to the front side of the roof deck. The plan was further amended to include that exterior lighting on the roof deck will be “downward facing and shielded to minimize impacts on neighboring properties.”
In addition to noise, Councilor Peter Juaire brought up concerns about the lack of an answer regarding roof deck maximum capacity. The final plan set the maximum capacity at 325 which was approved by the Council.
There had also been much discussion regarding the pros and cons of renting out the roof deck to nonprofit organizations for events however the Council “in an effort to move the project along” and vote, Council President Edward Clancy suggested language for the final vote that limits use of the roof deck for “the exclusive use of the residents of the building on the Site and/or their guests and cannot be utilized for outside events or rented or leased.”
The Council approved the permit with a 10 – 1 vote, Councilor Paul Irish casting the lone dissenting vote due to “concerns for abutters with regard to potential noise (from the roof deck).”
E on Main is the third mixed-use development to be approved in the Marlborough Village District but the first to visibly start to prepare for demolition or construction. The City Council has already approved special permits for Tavern at Marlborough, a mixed-used development on the John Rowe Funeral Home property adjacent to the Common and the 28 South Bolton Street development, the current site of Marilyn Green, Re/Max Signature Properties offices. Green was approved to construct a five-story building with 36 residential units, two retail and/or office spaces and ground floor parking.
The Marlborough Village Zoning District passed in late 2014 by the City Council, was an effort to increase economic development in the downtown area allowing for additional retail, restaurants and housing that may appeal to urban professionals in the downtown area.