WAKEFIELD — Since it was initially presented last November, a 100-unit Chapter 40B affordable housing project proposed at 127 Nahant St. has been a source of frustration for the Zoning Board of Appeals. Their level of dissatisfaction with the process reached new heights last week when the attorney for the project sent a letter to the board asking for a postponement of their scheduled appearance at last week’s meeting to the board’s April 10 meeting. 

ZBA chairman Tom Lucey read a letter from the developer’s attorney, Jason Panos, requesting the continuance. Panos wrote that his team was still waiting for a meeting with the Traffic Advisory Committee (TAC) after submitting a traffic impact study earlier in March. He wrote that the development team was continuing, at the board’s request, to work on a redesign of the project, addressing height and massing concerns. 

Panos also stated in his letter to the board that the development team had terminated its relationship with Hayes Engineering of Wakefield, the firm that had been working on the project. Panos indicated that they were in the process of bringing another engineering firm on board. 

In his letter, Panos requested that the board continue the hearing to its April 10 meeting and offered to extend the board’s deadline to render a decision through July 10. 

Board member Greg McIntosh said that, even though the TAC had not yet reviewed the traffic study, there were still other matters that could have been discussed at last week’s meeting. He noted that fellow ZBA member Chip Tarbell had several times requested background information of the developer. 

“I don’t understand why he’s not here with that,” McIntosh said. “We are still missing information that we reasonably requested a long time ago that should be on hand already and we still don’t have it.” 

Lucey agreed. 

“This is yet another instance where we’ve asked for information and it’s not being provided in a timely fashion,” Lucey said. “They haven’t met one deadline. They haven’t met one commitment that they’ve made to this board.” 

Lucey called the experience “par for the course for this developer” and asked that the missed deadlines be documented in the meeting minutes.” 

Board member David Hatfield said that he found it “very interesting” that the developer had completely severed ties with Hayes Engineering rather than just going with a different civil engineer at Hayes. Hatfield called it “just another indication that something’s gone wrong there.” He noted that bringing on a new engineering firm means bringing a new engineer up to speed, which could mean more delays. 

ZBA member Mickey Feeley observed that background information on the developer should be readily available and easy for Panos to provide. He noted that the board has asked several times for the developer’s project history but has yet to receive anything. 

(The 40B project, known as “The Residences at Nahant, LLC,” is listed on the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s Corporations Division website with Peter Pantzelos of 246 Andover St. in Peabody listed as the manager of the LLC.) 

Lucey told the board that he has been made aware of some language in Chapter 40B that addresses a developer’s failure to provide information to a Zoning Board in a timely manner and said that he would be pursuing that angle. 

Tarbell said that the board needs to keep pressing the development team. 

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” he said. 

The board continued the hearing to its April 10 meeting. 


Another 40B project proposed at 32 Nahant St. has been less contentious, but board members also expressed frustration with the pace of that project.

Lucey confirmed that, while the developer has submitted its traffic study, they have not yet met with the Traffic Advisory Committee. 

The attorney for that project also submitted a letter asking that last week’s scheduled hearing be put off to April 10.