ZBA reviews traffic impact of 300-unit development

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ZBA reviews traffic impact of 300-unit development
An artist’s rendition of the proposed 300-unit Emerald Run development in Shrewsbury. (Screenshot/Shrewsbury Media Connection)

SHREWSBURY – Emerald Run’s traffic impact was before the Zoning Board of Appeals on Feb. 26.

Emerald Run, which includes six four-story buildings and 300 total homeownership units, would be constructed at 33-69 Green St., which is in the southeastern corner of town near Route 20. Seventy-five of the units would be affordable. The project’s developer, Pulte Homes of New England, has several projects in the region, including the 700-unit Chauncy Lake development in Westborough.

Emerald Run is a 40B project, and Pulte has worked with the town to make the development a “friendly 40B,” making several design changes to better suit the community’s goals. For example, should Emerald Run be approved, Pulte plans to donate a strip of land to Shrewsbury; the town would turn the land into a road to connect Green Street with South Street.

MDM Transportation Consultants, Inc. studied traffic at nine intersections to analyze the project’s impact on traffic. Two intersections along Route 20 were studied, along with both ends of Appaloosa Drive, which abuts the project. The intersection at Brook and Walnut streets was also studied.

According to the MDM traffic study, Emerald Run would generate roughly 100 total trips during peak hours, amounting to roughly 1,362 trips in a 24-hour period. The majority of morning trips would head onto Route 20 east, and many of the other trips would head north on South Street.

The total trips generated by the project would be nominal compared to traffic on Route 20, a representative from MDM Transportation Consultants said at the meeting.

Route 20 is slated to undergo significant improvements in the future, which MDM said would significantly help traffic and safety. The Route 20 Corridor construction is scheduled to start in 2026.

The proposed cross-connection between Green Street and South Street would also help ease traffic. MDM said that roughly 50 to 60 trips per day would be diverted away from nearby Walnut Street, which serves as another connection to Route 20.

Al-Hamra Academy, which generates several left-hand turns on Route 20, would also be served by the connection.

The town’s peer reviewer generally agreed with MDM’s findings.

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