By DAN TOMASELLO
LYNNFIELD — A development company is looking to construct 66 detached homes on the eastern side of the Sagamore Spring Golf Club.
Atty. Susan Murphy, Sagamore Spring Real Estate Trustee Richard Luff and Toll Brothers Massachusetts Senior Vice President Shawn Nuckolls were invited to the Planning Board’s Aug. 31 meeting to give a preliminary overview of the project that will tentatively be voted on during Fall Town Meeting.
Murphy recalled that the Planning Board endorsed last January an Approval Not Required (ANR) plan for Sagamore Spring Golf Club that pertained to the 1287 Main St. property’s eastern side.
“Toll Brothers has a contract to purchase 36 acres on the ANR plan,” said Murphy. “It’s not a done deal, and lots of things have to come together.”
Nuckolls said the project entails constructing 66 two-bedroom detached homes for over-55 housing. He said the project also involves constructing a clubhouse that will include a fitness center, swimming pool and a common area for residents to use.
“Over the past 15 years, the majority of our projects have been age-restricted housing for the elderly,” said Nuckolls. “We have learned that is what buyers want. Most of our buyers are downsizing from single-family homes on acre-plus lots. We have found that the most desirable housing product they want is a detached home with a small backyard.”
Murphy said two warrant articles pertaining to the project are going to be submitted for Fall Town Meeting, one of which is going to ask the legislative body to rezone the 36 acres from Residence D to Elderly Housing.
In response to a question from Planning Board Vice Chair Kate Flaws, Nuckolls said the detached homes project would be a “cluster-style development.”
“It would meet existing zoning requirements the town has in terms of protecting open space,” said Nuckolls. “It would just not require two units to be attached to each other, and would be subject to the site plan approval process.”
Nuckolls said the elderly housing project would be similar to over-55 housing projects Toll Brothers has developed in Hudson and will be developing in Tyngsborough.
Murphy inquired if there is a demand for elderly housing in town.
“There is an interest in housing for the elderly in Lynnfield,” said Planning Board member Amy MacNulty. “We know from past surveys that people want to stay in this community.”
Nuckolls said the town’s Zoning Bylaw has “clearly defined dimensional requirements” for Elderly Housing districts.
“All that I am asking is you allow a developer to try and meet those requirements with a detached home,” said Nuckolls.
Luff said the project will allow the Sagamore Spring Real Estate Trust to “keep the golf course.”
“This gets us to keeping 18 holes of golf, preserving the west side of the property, protecting the wells and continuing the town’s conservation efforts,” said Luff. “I think that is really important when you look at this small zoning change.”
Planning and Conservation Director Emilie Cademartori said she asked Luff, Murphy and Nuckolls to attend the meeting because she did not want the Planning Board to be caught off guard once the warrant articles are submitted for Fall Town Meeting.
The 2018 Spring Town Meeting rejected a plan submitted by Sagamore Spring Real Estate Trust and developer Ron Bonvie that sought to rezone the eastern side of the golf course from Residence D to Elderly Housing. The rejected Fairways Edge at Sagamore project would have consisted of 154 attached condominium residences on 105 acres.
Planning Board Chair Brian Charville informed the Villager after last week’s meeting that the Planning Board voted to recommend the zoning changes that were associated with the Fairways Edge project four years ago.