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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Planning Board To Deliver Max Pac Decision On January 6th (This Post Was Modified On 12/20/10)

Please note that all documents linked in this posting have been added to the Ward 5 Online Max Pac page.


The Planning Board will deliver its decision on new plans for the Max Pac site recently submitted by KSS Realty, Gate Ventures, and Icon Architectural Incorporated at its scheduled January 6th meeting time.

In a November 23rd Memo, Nacy Ludwig (President/Icon Architectural Incorporated), described modifications made to the site in an effort to keep the industrial character of the previous, but now demolished development.

Those changes included:
Site – Grading and Landscape Plans (Layout and Materials and Landscape Plan):

· Modest re-grading of entry drive off of Lowell Street – roadway is less steep than originally approved
· Modest re-grading of roadways around park – overall park is 1 foot higher to accommodate accessible entries at Buildings B & E
· Modest re-grading of sidewalk behind Building E – sidewalk was re-graded to remove stairs to accommodate the MBTA request for secondary handicap accessibility to the proposed Lowell Street Station
· Two parking garage entry drives eliminated at Building A – Building A parking reduced to one level (rather than two as approved) and single level of parking now enters from Building A northern end. Additional landscaping will be provided where parking garage entries were eliminated.
· Two Dumpster locations have been added for trash management – one area is between Buildings A and E; the other is between Buildings B & C. Dumpsters will sit below average site grade, near the garage entries. They will be screened with fencing and gates.
· Ground level stoops have been modified to decks – the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board (MAAB) requires that all entries to residential “flat” units must be accessible. If a unit has a stoop leading to a sidewalk, or a deck or patio leading to a yard or a common area, then the door to that stoop or deck is considered an ‘entrance,’ and must be accessible. Thus, the plan now turns the “stoops” into “decks” with railings around them so that they are not connected to the common walkways.
· Overall Building Footprint of Buildings A, B, C & E has been reduced – creating an additional 3,493 square feet of landscaped, open space.
· Building Gross Square Footage in Building A, B, C & E has been reduced – from 310,110 GSF to 267,308 GSF – an overall reduction of 42,802 GSF
· FAR has been reduced –from 1.03 to 0.92 (includes entire site)
· Parking has been increased – from 238 cars to a maximum of 250 cars. All additional parking is located in underground garages, not on open site.

Building Modifications:· Building A Parking Garage has been reduced from two stories to a single story – so the overall building height has been reduced by one story.

The Planning Board released their report in which they outlined expectations for the site. This report includes the construction schedule, specific changes, and conditions.




12/20/2010 addition...
The public comment period for this project ends Dec 31, at noon.
Comments should be addressed to the Planning Board, but mailed or e-mailed to the planning office to the attention of Dawn Pereira dpereira@somervillema.gov.



5 comments:

Todd H. said...

So, according to this plan, the entrance/exit is going to be built into the Lowell Street bridge. How exactly is that going to work?

Anonymous said...

Courtney,

What ended up happening at the Planning Board meeting last week? I thought the unions were going to protest? Did the board speak on the issues?

Courtney O'Keefe said...

There was a demonstration outside that started at 5:30pm. Union members and residents then spoke to the board about the need for local jobs and the desire for Union hirings.

For a very eloquent synopsis of their response, please check out this link: http://www.ward5online.com/2010/12/residents-given-glimpse-of-new-vision.html and read KM's comment.

Please note that I was not able to attend the meeting, but got a full report from my father who is a retired member of Local 103 and participated in the rally. I plan on being at the January 6th meeting and will report a first-hand recap of the meeting.

Anonymous said...

I thought KM's comments were very helpful. I'd love to hear the report from your father, too, if possible.

Courtney O'Keefe said...

According to Dad...

There were about 30 protestors outside, most of which were unemployed Union members.

Both residents and Union Members alike spoke about the need for local hiring and the safety/quality that hiring Union labor brings.

The Planning Board, itself, did encourage KSS to hire Union and Local, but did mention (along with Alderman Sean O'Donovan) that they cannot "force" the developers to do so.

Bricklayers, electricians, and carpenters were some of the trades that were represented along with support from SCC and SOS.

I hope this helps!