Park Central 40B project in Southborough revised


Park Central 40B project in Southborough revised
The proposed Park Central development would occupy space off Route 9 near the Southborough/Westborough town line. (Photo/Dakota Antelman)

SOUTHBOROUGH – A proposed 40B project could see 200 units of housing built on 17.38 acres off Flagg Road, Park Central Drive and Blackthorn Drive in Southborough.

The proposed development, called the Residences at Park Central, would qualify as 40B because 50 of the 200 units would be affordable.

Under the state affordable housing law 40B, zoning boards of appeals can approve projects as affordable housing developments if 20 to 25% of their units are affordable.

Legal battle

The developers had initially wanted to build a similar project made up of 180 apartments and 139 townhomes, the latter of which would be market rate.

The Zoning Board of Appeals initially granted a use variance for the townhomes that was conditioned on the future granting of the comprehensive permit.

It resulted in a legal battle when 21 abutters appealed that decision. Ultimately, that led to a Worcester County Superior Court judge ruling in favor of the abutters in March and revoking the comprehensive permit for the project.

In his decision dated March 16, Judge William Ritter wrote that the inclusion of the townhomes in the permit was “legally untenable and not supported by the record.”

What is proposed

The development would now consist of four buildings — three containing 51 units and one containing 47 units. It will also include 420 interior and covered parking spaces, with a ratio of 2.1 spaces per unit.

At a Southborough Planning Board meeting on Aug. 1, a few residents near the site of the proposed project raised their objections to its details.

Lincoln Merrihew, who lives on Flagg Road, told the Planning Board that the development would have three entrances basically going off Flagg Road. The three entrances are off Flagg Road, Bantry Road and Tara Road.

Bantry and Tara, Merrihew said, are dead ends that can only be accessed through Flagg Road.

“So essentially Flagg Road bears the entire burden of this complex once again,” Merrihew said.

Planning Board member Jesse Stein said that this would be a huge issue for the town. It was an example of why the Planning Board needed to formulate its own review and opinion of the project, Stein said.

Kate Shah purchased her home on Flagg Road in 2018. This was two years after the public comment for the project had been considered, which she had no idea of at the time.

Shah initially seemed to be under the impression that the project had already been approved.

“I purchased a home on a street that was 25 miles an hour because I knew that I was going to have kids on the street, and now you’re telling me that there are 100 units of housing that are going to come directly onto this road?” Shah said.

Shah said that it did not feel fair for the houses in the area that had been purchased since the public comment was put into the record in 2016, and that the project feels like a safety hazard.

Planning Board Principal Departmental Assistant Colleen Stansfield told Shah that this project, which is slightly different from the one heard in 2016, had not been approved yet.


Judge revokes permit for Southborough Park Central development

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