Published in the October 3, 2018 edition


LYNNFIELD — One of the 12 articles set to appear on the Oct. 15 Town Meeting warrant is a citizens’ petition.

Atty. Jason Panos said Michael and Heidi Tourkistas, 3 Red Twig Ln., submitted Article 12 during last week’s Board of Selectmen meeting. Article 12 seeks to rezone a parcel of land off Red Twig Lane from Residential A (RA) to Limited Business (LB) for the purpose of constructing a two-story building. Panos said the building would include offices and retail stores.

Panos said the Tourkistases own the property located at 5 Red Twig Ln., a private way off of Lynnfield Street. He said the parcel of land that would be rezoned totals 33,300 square feet.

“The two parcels are adjacent to 932 Lynnfield St., which is currently in the Limited Business District,” said Panos. “The Red Twig Lane parcels are in the RA District. The warrant article proposes to change the Red Twig Lane parcels, totaling 33,300 square feet, from RA to Limited Business, which is exactly the same as the adjacent use at 932 Lynnfield St. The portion of the property that fronts Lynnfield Street is not really appropriate for residential purposes.”

Panos said the proposed building would be around 4,000 square feet and would include 42 parking spaces.

“The footprint is very small because we are talking about limited business,” said Panos. “Due to the constraints of the site and the small footprint, we believe the traffic produced by the change in use would be negligible. With a combination of offices and retail, the uses might even draw from the existing traffic from Goodwin’s Circle.”

Panos said medical offices could occupy the proposed building as well as a bakery. He said the project would have a minimal impact on town services. He said the project would “result in more tax revenue for the town.”

“It’s a very small site and construction of the building will cause minimal disruption to Goodwin’s Circle traffic flows and more importantly, the neighborhood,” said Panos.

Panos said utilities would be connected to Lynn Water and Sewer.

“We are also actively discussing tying electrical utilities through National Grid rather than Reading Municipal Light Department,” said Panos.

Panos said the Planning Board will be holding a public hearing on Article 12 on Thursday, Oct. 11, beginning at 7 p.m. in the Joe Maney Meeting Room. He also said the Tourkistases will be meeting with abutters to discuss the project. If Town Meeting approves Article 12, Panos said the Zoning Board of Appeals will be asked to approve the building’s site plan.

In response to a question from Selectman Chris Barrett, Panos said the public hearing notice will be sent to abutters who live within 300 feet from the proposed development.

“There really aren’t a lot of direct or indirect abutters,” added Planning and Conservation Director Emilie Cademartori. “It was probably a dozen or so property owners including two properties in Lynn.”

Barrett encouraged Panos to notify more South Lynnfield residents about Article 12. He said a similar community outreach initiative took place when CVS Pharmacy officials were looking to construct a pharmacy on Route 1 North at Salem Street three years ago. That project failed.

“I understand there are not many abutting properties, but there is going to be an impact on people who live farther down the road,” said Barrett. “I live farther down the street and the only reason I know about this is because I am on the Board of Selectmen.”

“I absolutely support notifying more and working with the community,” said Panos. “We want to make sure everybody is on board. We really do think that in addition to being a better use for the petitioners’ property, it is going to be a good thing for the town as well. We wouldn’t have brought it forward otherwise.”

In response to a question from Selectman Phil Crawford, Panos said the proposed building would be two stories high.

“It’s so conceptual right now that this is the start of a conversation, not the end of one,” said Panos.

The selectmen unanimously voted to refer Article 12 to the Planning Board.