Published October 25, 2019

By MARK SARDELLA

WAKEFIELD — It’s all but a done deal that developer Eric Kenworthy will get to build his 24-unit, 40B apartment building called “Greenwood Station” at 998-1000 Main Street.

The Zoning Board of Appeals closed the public hearing Wednesday night, meaning that no new information or testimony is expected on the project. Board members indicated that they were generally happy with the final plans, draft decision and conditions submitted by Geoff Engler, a housing consultant who has been representing the project at ZBA hearings throughout the 15-month long permitting process.

Engler said that he had completed some final cleanup of the documents and plans submitted to the board and had no further information or testimony to offer. The ZBA went through the material submitted by Engler and appeared to be satisfied that everything was in order. They did want to reconcile one minor detail of the plan to make it consistent with renderings submitted.

The ZBA also wanted a subcommittee to go through the decision and all materials submitted to confirm that everything was consistent and every detail was in order.

Assuming there are no issues, the board is expected to issue a decision on the project at its next meeting on Nov. 13.

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The Board of Appeals made the necessary findings and granted a variance that will allow Kara Meade to raze a house currently at 28 Redfield Rd. and build a new single-family home on the site. The tax-title property is owned by the town of Wakefield but Meade has an agreement to purchase the property.

Representing Meade, attorney Brian McGrail explained that the property is on the Reading line and efforts have been ongoing to reconcile an issue with an abutter. According to McGrail, the existing dwelling encroaches on the abutter’s property by about six feet. The parties have worked out an agreement and the footprint of Meade’s planned new home will be shifted so that it will be situated entirely on her own lot.

McGrail was looking for a finding that the proposed use will not be more detrimental to the neighborhood than existing conditions.

But a second abutter on the opposite side of the property objected, saying that shifting the position of the planned dwelling would place it five feet from his property line. As the matter was discussed, it was stated that the second abutter’s home is 15 feet from the property line and the area that abuts the 28 Redfield Rd. property is a paved parking area.

Ultimately, the ZBA issued a finding that the proposed use would not be more detrimental than what currently exists. The board also granted the requested variances for setbacks, lot coverage and open area.

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The ZBA discussed architecture and landscaping related to a proposal to convert an office building at 301 North Ave. into 12 one-bedroom residential units. The building is on the north corner of North Avenue and Avon Street.

Attorney McGrail represents Wakefield Investments, Inc. in its application for Special Permits that would allow the 12-unit garden-style apartment building.

McGrail asked architect Tim Warnick to review proposed improvements to the exterior of the building. He said that the concrete cornice along the top of the facade will be enhanced with a pre-fabricated  aluminum cornice to cap the building. To give the building a more residential look, a short iron fence will be placed atop the pre-existing retaining wall/planter along the North Avenue side. The Colonial style windows have recently been updated.

Warnick showed a diagram of the rooftop mechanicals, including condensers, compressors and plumbing vents, none of which would be visible from the street, he said.

There was some discussion of the established landscaping on the site and plans to replace and add some landscaped areas.

John Ogren of Hayes Engineering talked about some of the relatively minor site and civil engineering changes proposed. The water service to the building will be upgraded to accomodate fire suppression and residential use. He said the building will continue to use the existing sewer service.

Ogren talked about how the floor drains in the first floor garage will handle drainage.

ZBA members expressed general satisfaction with the direction of the proposal as described.

The hearing was continued to Nov. 13.