“Blown away” by 57 Main St. vote at Urban Affairs


Letter to the Editor logoI watched the March 23rd meeting of the Marlborough’s Urban Affairs Committee regarding 57 Main St. and was blown away by the vote. I listened to the discussion, where four of the committee members talked about how bad the plan was: the project is too big; it doesn’t have adequate parking; it is not what we intended when we passed the Village District Zoning and much more. In spite of what they said, only Councilors Robey and Navin did the right thing and voted NO.

The 5th member actually suggested allowing the residents at the development to park in the neighborhoods, so his vote wasn’t surprising. If this project is approved, I hope he would also support running a shuttle bus up to Crosby Rd. 

I spent some time reading the Marlborough Multi-Family Development Criteria. It clearly states, “This document is intended to provide development teams with an indication of the types of projects that MAY be deemed suitable for specific areas of the city.”

I also read, “Purpose of the Village District Zoning.” 4 of the 6 bullets listed were:

         *Preserve and enhance the character of the Marlborough Downtown.

         * Promote attractive development of the downtown.

         *Relate commercial and mixed-use properties both visually and physically to surrounding land.

         *Protect property values by enhancing Downtown appearance.

This project does none of these. If this project is allowed to go through, all the progress that been made to improve our Downtown will be wasted.

I also believe that the parking plan proposed by the developer was not as accurate as it should be. The majority of the available spaces included spaces that currently do not allow overnight parking or have two hour limits. Unless they have already made a backroom deal with six councilors, I am not sure why the developer would want to build a building without some kind of assurance that the council would be foolish enough to give away these spaces that the existing downtown businesses depend on.

 If the above is not reason enough not to approve this project, maybe this is, “Failure to pay a review fee shall be grounds for denial of the application.” I have not seen anywhere that this has been done. 

Bill Fowler

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