By Sue Ellen Woodcock
The Planning Board will vote on August 8 whether to allow or not the property at 142 Pleasant St. to be given the (Special Development Overlay District) SDOD zoning designation so the old nursing home property could be turned into a condominium project.
At the Senior Center on Tuesday night about 100 residents packed in to hear what the Town Council, the Planning Board and developers had to say. The former Gov. Winthrop Nursing Home on the corner of Pleasant St. and Woodside Avenue, has been abandoned for 10 years and under discussion for development for at least seven years. The owners, the 142 Pleasant St. Trust comprised of the Roberto family have tried three times to do something with the property. One proposal was for a methadone clinic. The agreement between the Roberto’s and the clinicians has been dissolved according to Attorney James Cipoletta, who represents the trust. Now the trust would like to develop the property into 12 condo units, not the same 20 units as proposed years ago. The building is about 20,000 square feet on a 31,000 square foot lot.
The Planning Board, which meets on Aug. 8 will decide the designs and send its decision to the Town Council to vote on.
Dicks Bangs, a neighbor from Woodside Avenue seemed to be the only one who wanted to tear it down and build three townhouses. The purpose of the SDOD is to reuse what is already there without tearing it down.
Cipoletta said recently there have been three successful SDOD in Winthrop, the Dalrymple School, the Winthrop Hospital and the Playmakers building on Hermon Street.
“This system works and it gives the town control over the plans,” said Cipoletta.
Many people stood in favor of the SDOD and 12 condos, including former Town Council President Peter Gill; community activist Kathleen Cappuccino; attorney Richard Lynds; and resident Mike LuCerto who said he was “ashamed this has taken so long. We always think development is a dirty word but this is a change that could be good.”
Planning Board Chairman David Stasio said the Planning Board now has 21 days from Tuesday night’s public hearing to decide on the SDOD.
“The SDOD law was there 10 years ago to use property that is no longer fit for the original use,” he said.
“We are fortunate that the Robertos have come back,” said Precinct 5 councilor Russ Sanford.