ZBA continued hearing on West Street 40B


ZBA water issues consultant Tom Houston presented his analysis of the sixty odd issues he had with the proposal.  Tom Houston first said the plans were better than usual.  He then reviewed those comments where he and the developer differed.

Six inches over cover is too little over a sewer.  However, increasing that cover may require raising the elevation of the buildings.

Light fixtures illumination should not be visible from off site.

ZBA chair, Bob Sylvia, asked Hoston’s opinions as to the risks to the wetlands and the aquifer.  Houston noted his specific suggestions for separators at the site to protect the wetlands, which also protects the aquifer.  He said that any development has risks, and that the higher the density the higher the risks.  However, he noted that these plans follow generally accepted engineering practices.  To this observer, he was saying that this is the current state of the art, but that does not mean that it is without risks.

I asked about what I understood to be a major water related risk, namely that the whole development is located within 100 flood levels, i.e. the development will be under water during a 100 year flood.  I was told that there are written submissions on that issue, and that there are differing opinions.

The next continued hearing date for the ZBA hearings on Gatehouse’s 40B proposal is August 27, when it was said that architecture will be the focus.

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