By MARK SARDELLA
WAKEFIELD — The Zoning Board of Appeals was expecting to have an in-depth discussion of Shelter Development’s construction schedule — assuming its proposal to build a 130-unit Brightview Senior Living complex on Crescent Street receives approval.
But it quickly became apparent last night that while Shelter representatives were ready to discuss construction in broad strokes, they were not prepared with the level of detail that the ZBA wanted.
Dan Messier, senior vice president of PROCON, the construction management firm that Shelter Development would use to oversee the project, told the board that once begun the entire project would take about 18 months to build.
He said that the first 4-6 weeks would be demolition of the existing buildings, followed by two to three months of foundation work. The building itself, Messier said, would take about 11-12 months to build.
During construction the entire site would be fenced in, he said, and showed on a plan where entrances would be as well as the locations of construction trailers and staging areas. There will be security cameras during construction, Messier noted, and the placement of Jersey barriers will preclude the use of the sidewalk on the west side of Crescent Street in the project area.
But board members, especially Chip Tarbell, were looking for much more detail than Messier was prepared to provide last night.
“It’s a big project in a small spot,” Tarbell said. “I really want to understand the impact for the neighbors and the town.” Tarbell said that he essentially wanted a month by month breakdown of construction activities, including the number of workers and vehicles that would be on the site at every stage.
Tarbell said that he expected Shelter to work out with the town and the neighbors such things like temporary crosswalks or other measures related to the blocking of a portion of the Crescent Street sidewalk. He also asked about police details at various stages of construction. Board members wanted to know the plan for things like dust mitigation and street sweeping.
Tarbell also brought up Shelter’s plan to use the lower level garage, once it is built, for parking and as a staging area for the remainder of the project. He told Messier that there should be discussions ahead of time with the Fire Chief and the Building Inspector as to whether such a plan will be acceptable.
Messier did assure the board that there would be off-site, satellite parking areas for workers to prevent parking in the surrounding neighborhood.
Also at last night’s hearing, the board received a copy of ASB Design Group’s response to the Wakefield Department of Public Works review of the drainage and sewer systems in Shelter’s plan for the site. The ASB report was delivered by Alan Grenier, attorney for Andrea Sullivan of 12 Crescent St.
The ZBA decided to send the ASB report to the DPW and request that they reply to it at the board’s next meeting on June 24 by which time ZBA members will also have had an opportunity to read it.
The ZBA also discussed a preliminary draft of conditions for the project, should it be approved, submitted by Shelter Development’s attorney, Brian McGrail. Board members provided feedback on the 15-point draft. Grenier suggested several additional conditions.
Grenier also told the board that once Shelter has completed its presentation in support of its application, he would like to make an approximately one-hour rebuttal on behalf of the opposition, outlining why the project should not be built.
Board members pointed out that Grenier had spoken at practically every hearing and that they had never heard such a request for a formal rebuttal. But ZBA member Michael Pierce called it a “unique circumstance” and urged the board to consider the request if only to limit future grounds for appeal of the board’s decision by either side.
ZBA Chairman David Hatfield said that when the time comes he would like Grenier to provide the board with a written summary of his presentation ahead of time. He also said that Shelter would have a chance to respond to Grenier’s opposition.
The Board of Appeals issued a finding that will allow Jamal H. Alananzeh and Mohamad Al Omari to reconstruct the gas station canopy that was damaged by snow and ice at their “Wakefield Gas” garage at 454 Water St. and to add one additional gas pump. The board also granted a variance that will allow changes and upgrades to the existing signage on the property.
The ZBA discussed with Dr. Emily Valorz of New Beginnings Chiropractic her request to change the sign for her practice on the second floor of the Old Theater Block building. The present sign on the front of the building advertises a different chiropractor who previously occupied Valorz’ current space.
Board members explained that under the current bylaw the sign does not meet legal requirements and suggested to Valorz that she begin by going to the Sign Review Board and then possibly come back to the ZBA with a request for a variance.