WAKEFIELD — A small mixed-use development proposed at 97-99 Water St. (the corner of Water Street and Wakefield Avenue) appears closer to approval by the Zoning Board of Appeals after incorporating some changes requested by the Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department.

Representing developer Saverio Fulciniti, attorney Brian McGrail reminded the board that his client had been close to obtaining ZBA approval of the original project when the WMGLD pointed out the building as designed would be too close to the utility wires along Water Street. The WMGLD requires a minimum distance of 10 feet between a building and the utility wires along a street.

McGrail said that the building had to be redesigned, retaining the ground floor retail space but the upper two floors (with four residential units) were pulled back from the street to provide the necessary distance from the wires.

McGrail and architect Robert Paccione reviewed the new design showing renderings and architectural plans. The ground level retail space remains close to the sidewalk, but the second story is pushed back and the third story is pushed back even more to obtain the necessary clearance for the wires.

The elevator shaft had to be moved to the back of the building and the vestibule/mechanical room for the elevator will protrude out 10 feet from the building on the ground level, according to the latest plan.

Seven off-street parking paces are provided (one over the required six).

McGrail said that his client will reroute an “ancient” drainage pipe that now runs under the present building, averting likely future issues when that old drainage pipe inevitably fails.

McGrail said that his client will provide all new sidewalks around the building.

When the hearing was opened to the public, Edward Kirby, who owns the property at 4 Wakefield Ave. (directly behind the 97-99 Water St. property) said that he was concerned about the overall size of the building and its impact on the view of the occupants of his building. He was also concerned about the encroachment of the ground level elevator room in the rear as well as the potential noise from the elevator and the rooftop mechanical units on the proposed building.

Fulciniti said that the elevator would be a traction style model rather than hydraulic and shouldn’t present much of a noise problem. He also maintained that the rooftop mechanical units wouldn’t make much noise. Still, Kirby asked for some sound mitigation panels to be installed.

Several other neighbors on Wakefield Avenue spoke in favor of the new project, calling it a “huge improvement” over what’s there now that will “add value to the neighborhood.”

A few details remain to be addressed, but McGrail was asked to bring a set of draft conditions for the board to consider at the next meeting.

The hearing was continued to the ZBA’s Jan. 26 meeting.