Site plan appeal article heads to Hudson Town Meeting

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Site plan appeal article heads to Hudson Town Meeting
Drone photography shows the Intel property. (Photo/Tami White)

HUDSON – An article that adds language regarding appeals of a Planning Board decision will go before Hudson Town Meeting. 

According to attorney Mark Babrowski, who is Hudson’s special counsel for the Intel redevelopment project, Hudson’s zoning bylaws do not include a section on appeals of site plan decisions. Residents could only appeal decisions after a building permit was issued and denied. The appeal would then go before the Board of Appeals, Babrowski said during a Nov. 1 Planning Board meeting. 

If the Board of Appeals was to render a decision that residents did not agree with, they could take the Board of Appeals to Land Court or Superior Court, Babrowski said. 

However, Babrowski said that developers could opt not to request a building permit because they may not comply with some of the site plan conditions, delaying litigation. 

“We are going to spin wheels [and] spend money and it is all going to be a waiting game,” he said. “It is always de novo in zoning, which means it is new again for the first time.”

The article before Town Meeting – Article 30 – would allow residents to directly appeal the Planning Board’s decision on site plan approval in court, instead of waiting to appeal the decision to the Board of Appeals, he said. 

Ultimately, the Planning Board voted 2-2 not to recommend Article 30, but according to Director of Planning and Community Development Kristina Johnson, the article will still go before Town Meeting. 

Residents speak out about Hudson Town Meeting article

Residents who attended the meeting connected the proposed bylaw to the redevelopment of the former Intel site.

Over the summer, Intel confirmed that it planned to sell its property on Reed Road. Since, developers Portman Industrial have filed plans to construct a 1,284,640-square-foot distribution warehouse on the site. 

However, the project has led to residents, including those who live or work near the site, to speak out against the project.  

At the Nov. 1 meeting, some residents voiced support for the current process of waiting to appeal site plan approval to the Board of Appeals. 

“This has to be the world’s worst time to be putting this article forth and it just does not benefit the townspeople in certain parts of the town. I think this article should not be voted upon,” said resident Mike McCormack.

Hudson Town Meeting is scheduled for Nov. 21.

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