Red Spring Road neighborhood requests overlay district


Red Spring Road neighborhood requests overlay district
Homeowners along Red Spring Road want an overlay district to make it easier for them to expand or renovate their properties without the need for special permits. (Photo/Maureen Sullivan)

MARLBOROUGH – Red Spring Road is a private road that almost hugs the southern shore of Fort Meadow Reservoir.

Over the years, homes have been built along the shore; some families have lived here for years, others for decades.

Because the houses are pre-existing and nonconforming, homeowners have to apply for a special permit every time there’s a need to build an addition or improvement.

As part of the process, neighbors and abutters are notified by the city – all 148 of them.

In an attempt to save time and money, the newly formed Red Spring Road Homeowners Association is bringing a request for a zoning amendment.

That request, brought before the City Council on Monday, Oct. 23, is to create the “Red Spring Overlay District; this would comprise the 29 owners within the association.

“This would preserve the neighborhood without special permits,” said attorney Brian Falk, representing the association.

Supporters for the overlay district presented petitions to the City Council.

“We believe the Overlay District will put into compliance the preexisting and nonconforming uses on Red Spring Road that currently exist,” according to the petition. “The Overlay District will formalize and legalize the process for additions, sheds, garages, porches and decks.

“It was the city of Marlborough’s Building Department who urged RSRHA to resolve the nonconforming, pre-existing conditions,” according to the petition. “Furthermore, this Overlay District will provide a direct benefit to the Fort Meadow community and watershed by assuring that there will be no additional separation of the 29 units and exclusive use areas along the lakefront than exists today.”

Bob Durand, president of the association, told the council about the purchase of a 50-acre parcel from the Morse family in 2021. Most of the parcel has not been developed.

Durand added that the association would like to sell a 10-acre parcel to the city for open space.

Some residents questioned the long-term effects of the proposed district – whether development could take place 10 or 20 years down the road.

“There’s something missing from it all,” said one resident.

The request for the overlay district has been sent to the City Council’s Urban Affairs Committee.

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