By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer
Northborough – A developer is continuing its effort to build a four-lot subdivision near Algonquin Regional High School, seeking permits from the Northborough Planning Board, most recently at a meeting, March 16.
The Burlington-based Gutierrez Company has been through this process before. The Planning Board denied their previous application to build a 150,000 square foot high bay distribution center abutting Stirrup Brook back in October, though. The Company has since appealed that decision and awaiting litigation.
New proposal raises new concerns
Separate from that previously denied project, this new proposal has its own red flags for the Planning Board.
The primary issue, Board members say, is that the applicant has failed to prove ownership of all the land included in its new plans.
This is a requirement outlined in the Board’s rules and regulations. But part of the proposed plan would have builders working over the Wachusett Aqueduct, which the Commonwealth of Massachusetts owns according to the Worcester Registry of Deeds.
Talking, March 16, the majority of Planning Board members were not willing to waive that ownership requirement. .
“We have no proof that the Gutierrez Company has the full authority to undertake any and all of the necessary actions and improvements shown on the proposed subdivision plan,” Board Chair Kerri Martinek said.
The Massachusetts Water and Resources Authority, which manages the aqueduct, issues “8m permits” to allow “other entities to build, construct, excavate or cross” MWRA land.
The applicant does not have such a permit, though.
Developer’s attorney seeks conditional permit approval
Responding to these concerns, Gutierrez Company Attorney Mark Donahue said, March 16, that his client will produce new documentation prior to construction of its subdivision.
With that in mind, Donahue suggested that the Board approve this application contingent on the Gutierrez Company getting and documenting MWRA approval to build.
The Planning Board, though, said it is unable to properly discern the true impact of the new plan due to inconsistencies in the Gutierrez Company’s impact statement.
Some reports provided were based on that previous warehouse proposal now pending litigation.
“We need to be able to assess impact and it is hard to do with the current analysis,” said Martinek.
Further discussion will continue on May 4.