Published in the November 19, 2015 edition.


WAKEFIELD — The Zoning Board of Appeals got its first look last night at plans for a three-story, 24-unit apartment building proposed on the present sites of 598 and 602 North Ave., directly across from the Lakeside Office Park.

The applicants are asking for Special Permits and Site Plan Review of their proposal to build the garden-style structure on 1.7 acres of land.

Attorney Michael McCarthy represented the applicants Jonathan Main and John DiPaulo, the owners of the two properties. McCarthy said that both lots are located in the Business District. Currently each lot has a single-family home sitting on it.

McCarthy said that the combined lot is large and requires very little dimensional relief. The frontage is adequate and the open space exceeds the bylaw requirement, he said.

The proposed building would have 24 two-bedroom apartments, with eight on each floor. Four of the units would be classified as “affordable.” The parking lot will be in the rear of the building and will provide 47 parking spaces, McCarthy said, well over the 36 that would be required under the bylaw. He also said that the project was well under the legal density limits in terms of units per acre and bedrooms per acre.

Project manager Michael Juliano of Eaglebrook Engineering went over the details of the project. He noted that there is a wetland in the rear of the property. Most of the drainage on the site flows back toward the wetland, he said.

He told the ZBA that all of the storm runoff from the proposed site would flow into catch basins and infiltration systems and would meet storm water management guidelines. The parking lot will be curbed to contain the runoff and direct it to the catch basins.

Juliano said that a large part of the site toward the rear would be built up with fill in order to get the storm water infiltration system to the required height above the water table. A retaining wall will be built around the site and will have a six-foot fence on top of it, according to the plans.

Matt Langis of Phoenix Architects discussed the look of the building. He showed an artist’s rendering and described a contemporary style structure that also included some traditional, New England-style elements. He pointed to bands of trim used to break up some of the verticality of the building. The lower level exterior will be a natural stone veneer, with the second and third floors will have cedar shingles and vertical Hardie board, respectively.

Langis also showed a landscaping plan for the site and said that the plan was to save as many trees as possible.

Traffic engineer Jason Plourde said that based on the Institute of Traffic Engineers Trip Generation Manual, the proposed building would only generate 12 total vehicle trips in the morning and 15 trips in the afternoon. He said that based on feedback from the Traffic Advisory Committee (TAC) a traffic study was done on North Avenue as well as a safety evaluation.

He said that the entrance and exit on the site would be via separate driveways on either side of the building. He added that his final traffic study would be provided to the TAC for their comments and feedback.

The only abutter who spoke at the hearing, Mike Capillo, said that he supported the project.

McCarthy noted that there had already been one hearing on the project before the Conservation Commission and that ConCom hearing will be continued on Dec. 3.

The ZBA offered feedback on various aspects of the proposal and members said that they would like to see more details of the lighting plan, some changes to the front area walkway and landscaping and more specifics on the types of building materials that will be used. The board also wants a report of the TACs recommendations.

The hearing was continued to the board’s Dec. 9 meeting.

Five other hearings scheduled for last night were postponed after the applicants requested continuances.