By Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer
Northborough – An effort to build an assisted living facility at 39-43 King Street has been in the works for three years. On March 22 the Board of Selectmen (BOS) approved the next step in what has been a long process for the developer, ZHS Trust.
Project history takes twists and turns
The Zoning Board of Appeals granted a Site Plan Special Permit on March 27, 2018. That permit term has been extended and is still valid.
An improved access plan from Southwest Cutoff (Route 20) to the proposed facility was part of the permit conditions. In addition, plan approval was needed by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.
Department of Public Works Director Scott Charpentier said it’s been a long process at the state and local levels, so the final layout will meet the needs of the community.
Now a memorandum of understanding approved by the BOS as submitted by ZHS Trust on March 22, outlines the responsibilities, process and timeline necessary for the access improvements.
Project moves forward
King Street plans call for a new access driveway to be built across private property at 38 King Street, which ZHS Trust also owns.
Per the memorandum of understanding, the plan also shows “one-way access from Route 20 to King Street with access from King Street to Route 20 via the driveway over 38 King Street.”
ZHS Trust will then need to submit a request to the BOS to alter the layout of King Street to include those new access points as part of King Street. That request would need to go to vote at a future town meeting.
The BOS approval of the memorandum of understanding serves as the town’s commitment to the developer that it will support the new property layout if it is built in accordance with the requirements outlined.
“[This] gives the developer the most assurance we can that we will go to town meeting…and present [this project] for approval at that time,” Town Engineer Fred Litchfield said, March 22.
ZHS Trust Trustee Rashid Sheik was appreciative of the time and hard work of everyone involved in the process so far. He said he is anxious to take the next step as significant time has been spent on this project.
The developer’s attorney Spencer Holland said the memorandum of understanding incorporates comments and requests received in the process, as well as additional project components not in earlier drafts.
“The project will create significant safety benefits to the town at no cost to the town,” said Holland. “This… provides a very clear roadmap of the next steps to seeing this through to fruition.”