WILMINGTON, MA — Article 58 of the 2021 Annual Town Meeting Warrant asks voters to rezone from “General Business” to “Neighborhood Mixed Use” the land on Cross Street, directly across from the Yentile Farm Recreational Facility (Parcels 11 & 13, Map 40).
At last week’s joint public hearing between the Wilmington Planning Board and Wilmington Finance Committee, the land owner Jonathan Main and his attorney Robert Peterson Sr. explained that, following the rezoning, an apartment complex with an estimated 15-25 units would be constructed. 15% of the units will be affordable units per town regulations.
Main, a Wilmington resident, is an experienced residential developer, recently constructing a similar apartment complex across from Lake Quannapowitt in Wakefield.
“The development of this parcel as residential, as opposed to a commercial use, would be much more beneficial to the town, in this area in particular, as the parcel is located directly across from the entrance at Yentile Park,” said Attorney Peterson.
Town officials cautioned Main that the land has significant wetlands, but he is confident — based on expertise and work on projects with similar issues — that he can build something responsible that won’t encroach on the wetlands. Planning Director Valerie Gingrich would later call the property “very wet” and that she “looked forward to seeing the proponent’s [wetland] delineations.”
Watch the discussion of Article 58 at the joint public hearing around the 49-minute mark HERE.
At a meeting later that night, the Wilmington Planning Board voted to recommend passage of Article 58, 4-1.
At a separate meeting, the Wilmington Finance Committee, on the other hand, overwhelmingly recommended disapproval of Article 58.
Finance Committee members expressed concerns about traffic, especially with 10 townhouses and 39 condos soon to be built at 635 Main Street, near the Butters Row intersection. Cross Street, they contend, will be used as a cut-through more than ever. Additionally, member Marianne Gallezzo suggested that tenants in any commercial development were more likely to be closed at night and on weekends, the busiest time at Yentile Farm. Similar to the parking situation at Rotary Park, the parking lot at a commercial development at off-hours could potentially serve as overflow parking for Yentile Farm.
Voters will ultimately decide the rezoning of the land at the 2021 Annual Town Meeting on Saturday, May 1, 2021 at 9am at the Shriners Auditorium (99 Fordham Road).
Here’s a sketch from Mr. Main and Attorney Peterson’s presentation:
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