Revised proposal for Sasseville Way comes before Urban Affairs Committee

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Revised proposal for Sasseville Way comes before Urban Affairs Committee
Drone photography shows the proposed site of the Sasseville Way Residential Overlay District. (photo/Tami White)

MARLBOROUGH – The proposal to bring housing to a parcel along Sasseville Way came before the City Council’s Urban Affairs Committee on Nov. 15 with changes, but there were still plenty of concerns.

The parcel, owned by Boston Scientific, is currently zoned limited industrial. Several proposals have come before the city to develop the parcel over the past few years, without success.

Representatives from the Trammell Crow Company discussed the need to change the zoning to the Sasseville Way Residential Overlay District to make way for the project. They acknowledged the changes the city has made to its zoning bylaws, especially the need for a special permit and the percentage of affordable housing.

They also said that they’ve “made a lot of headway” with the plans after meeting with abutters and city officials.

Among the changes:

  • A maximum number of dwelling units to 286, with a cap of 10 three-bedroom units
  • A reduction in the number of units per acre from 15 to 13
  • A maximum of one restaurant or café
  • An increase in the percentage of affordable units from 10 percent to 12 percent
  • A maximum of 8,000 square feet for a business use such as health club or restaurant

Trammell Crow representatives said they anticipate about 15 school-age students may reside at the project once it’s built.

RELATED CONTENT: Sasseville Way zoning proposal in Marlborough irks neighbors

They also estimate the fiscal impact as follows – about $1.2 million from real estate and property taxes, minus $317,000 for municipal costs such as police, fire and schools, for a potential net gain to the town of more than $898,000.

As part of the design changes, the Trammell Crow representatives said they would build and maintain an emergency access road connecting to the back of Briarwood Avenue; install a signaled crosswalk at the Assabet River Rail Trail; and install native plantings on site.

City officials and boards, including the Department of Public Works, the Planning Board and the Conservation Commission, presented their input on the plans to Urban Affairs.

The Planning Board issued a “neutral” recommendation for the Sasseville Way Residences. Although the proposal would “impact less” than an industrial building, the board was concerned about the possible environmental impact to the Fort Meadow Reservoir.

The Urban Affairs meeting comes after the project went before the City Council in September. At that time, some residents advocated for keeping the parcel as open space.

Some members of the committee commended Trammell Crow for the changes.

“I appreciate you guys reaching out and doing the right thing,” said Councilor David Doucette.

“You’ve acted in a responsible way,” said Councilor Sean Navin.

The input from municipal officials and committees will be incorporated; Urban Affairs will continue discussion on Sasseville Way on Thursday, Nov. 30.

See the proposal at https://www.marlborough-ma.gov/city-council/events/87381.

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