Marlborough City Council sends Campus development project to solicitorĀ 


Marlborough Mayor concerned with Phase two of vaccine rollout.MARLBOROUGH – The Marlborough City Council voted 8-3 to send a master development plan for the proposed Campus project to the city solicitor at a meeting on Nov. 22.

The vote came despite an address from Mayor Arthur Vigeant in which he urged the council to send the plan back to the Housing and Urban Affairs Committee due to concerns over the timing of phased residential development before commercial development.

Greatland Realty Partners owns the property, which is located at the western corner of Forest Street and Simarano Drive. The real estate trust AvalonBay Communities is working with Greatland and plans to build apartments on the property, the Mayor’s Office clarified in a recent statement to the Community Advocate. 

“I’ve lost the trust in, I think, these developers and the owners of the property, and Avalon has lost their integrity in giving a bait and switch to the city of Marlborough,” Vigeant said, noting that the details of the plan for the project have significantly changed since it was first proposed. 

Vigeant said that he wants to see 1,000 feet of commercial development for every housing unit included in the development.

Vigeant also said that a planned restaurant and outdoor seating facility at the site, which he described as an important and exciting part of the plan, was now in jeopardy. 

The mayor continued, saying that a lack of affordable housing included in this project could push Marlborough very close to being below the state’s 10 percent threshold which qualifies municipalities for local control over affordable housing zoning.

“Tonight, I ask you to send it back to Urban Affairs, add the language about one unit for every thousand square feet, and add ten percent affordable housing onsite,” Vigeant said. “If they don’t want to do the project, they can take it somewhere else.”

Ultimately, though, a majority of councilors voted to send the plan to the solicitor. Councilor Laura Wagner said she supported sending the plan because finding enough funding to complete construction is a common obstacle for projects like this.

Wagner said that the project would potentially result in a lot of money coming into the city for many years, which would help to maintain a low tax rate and make the city more affordable.

“So, the housing to me is integral in getting this bigger project done, which is going to bring considerable money into the city from tax revenue,” Wagner said. 

 Councilor Christian Dumais was opposed to sending the project to the solicitor because of the lack of a guarantee that anything commercial would be built as part of the project. 

“I want you councilors to stop and look and read what the development consists of that is concrete,” Dumais said. “The only thing that will be built based upon this is the housing.”

The solicitor will now work to prepare the matter to come back before the City Council at its Dec. 6 meeting.


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