For months the Center Business District has been an area of concern for residents and town leaders, and with a developer interested in placing 30 residential units on Somerset Avenue, straightening out the zoning mess is crucial.
Town Council President Ron Vecchia said this has been clumsy since day one and he wants the Zoning Board of Appeals to come to a meeting and explain what happened.
At the center of the center issue is a “map” and a “line”. The Zoning Board made it a little clearer on June 27 for one house at 20 Cottage Park Road, which was thought to be Residential A, but determined to really be mixed use.
At the July 2 Town Council meeting, the topic came up again with former Council President Tom Reilly (who helped draw up the town’s charter) and his wife Donna Segreti-Reilly, who read a statement about getting citizens involved in the government process.
She stated that the 2014 process to re-define the Center Business District did not reach out to abutters and she has specific concerns.
“A petition put forth on May 27, 2018 was never heard or addressed,” Segreti-Reilly stated. “It was about forthcoming building projects in Winthrop Center.”
Tom Reilly, said when Terry Delehanty was Town Manager in 2017-2018, there were no single or multi-family homes in the Center District.
“The time to figure this all out is when there’s not a developer involved,” Reilly said. “There is a clause in the Charter for petitions, I helped write the Charter, I want a forum, discussion and the involvement of neighbors. I’m fed up! The council needs to stand up and take charge!”
After the Zoning Board meeting it appears the developer of 10-25 Somerset Ave.will seek to build four-story structure without a variance.
“No residential housing should be in the Center Business District,” said Councilor Phil Boncore.