By Melanie Petrucci
Senior Community Reporter
Shrewsbury – At the Jan. 9 Planning Board meeting, the members gave the approval for a 68-acre mixed use development – Edgemere Crossing at Flint Pond (the former Edgemere Drive-In). The development, located at 180, 200 and 228 Hartford Turnpike, is at the site of the former Edgemere Drive-In, is anticipated to have a Market Basket as an anchor store.
An application for special permitting was submitted by the Route 20 Nominee Trust and Demoulas Supermarkets, Inc., in June of 2019.
A public hearing was originally convened at the Board’s July 2019 meeting.
Mark Donahue, attorney with Fletcher Tilton, spoke on behalf of the applicants and noted on Jan. 9 that it had been several months since they appeared before the Board.
Roy Smith from RJ O’Connell & Associates, Inc., addressed latest revisions. Mark Fougere of Fougere Planning & Development, Inc gave a financial impact analysis of the development and James Lamp, principal engineer with LT Development, was also present.
“The primary reason for the delay in appearing before you for a couple of months was to look at a redesign of the surface water drainage system in an effort to try to limit the number of retention basins on the site…,” Donahue stated.
Smith explained that the new plan scaled back retention basins from seven to four.
He further explained that the smaller of the two retail buildings was reduced by 7,500 square feet and was split into two buildings to allow for an expansion of Basin 5. The number of parking spaces in the residential and retail areas were reduced slightly by converting some into “reserve spaces” (to be built later if needed) reducing impervious coverage which was an environmental benefit.
Joe Zinkevich, an abutter to the development and sole public commentator on Jan. 9, inquired how close Basin 5 was to the lake and if the tree-line and bordering wetlands would remain the same.
Smith replied that the basin was well over 150 feet away from the lake and that neither the wetlands nor tree-line would not be impacted.
Mark Fougere presented his analysis. He estimated that the development will bring in just over $1 million dollars in revenue to the town between property, retail sales and automobile excise taxes.
Impacts to the town regarding principal services such as police, fire and schools were shared. Based on research, Edgemere Crossing will contribute an additional 28 students to local schools, 314 calls to police and 60 calls to the fire department annually at a total cost of roughly $400,000 to the community.
Last, the issue of electric vehicle charging stations was discussed. The Board wanted assurances from the developer that charging stations will be installed.
“I would like to see that the charging stations are in operation at the time of the opening. I think it would be a good idea to have that in place at the beginning,” remarked Steven Boulay, Board Chair.
Lamp assured the Board that plans were in place.
“We are really trying to figure out is what the right thing to do is,” Lamp stated. “We are trying to figure out what the right system is…. We do see the need, absolutely!”
After the Board and Town Planner Bernard Cahill were satisfied with conditions and language of the plan and special permits, the public hearing was officially closed and the Board proceeded to a unanimous vote of approval.
When asked after the meeting what was next, Lamp replied, “Building!”
Ground breaking is expected in July or August of this year with an anticipated opening in late 2021.