The town”s architectural consultant reported on his review of the Gatehouse 40B tonight. Major points =
Residential use makes sense, versus industrial zoning.
Setbacks of industrial uses to the west are good. Deep lawns in front.
Walking facilities would be good.
Parking lots at street makes it difficult to screen the buildings with landscaping.
Skinny buildable area makes site difficult.
Generally parking should not be between buildings and street.
Opportunity exists to turn this stretch of West Street into a beautiful area.
Plantings every five spaces.
Rotate buildings 90 degrees so short sides face street.
Place smallest buildings at the street.
Improve landscaping plans, to make better use of site and its possibilities.
Flat roofs would make buildings appear smaller.
Traffic calming within development and on West Street.
Make the wetlands an amenity.
Generally likes the architectural detail and design of the buildings.
Suggests use of more than one design of windows, to make facades more interesting.
Use cement board siding instead of vinyl.
Make buildings greener by building to the Stretch Building Code.
Buildings are “shoehorned” into the site. 9+ acre site, but due to wetlands, only 5+ are usable.
ZBA chair questions whether there are too many buildings on too small a site to be able to make the site work sell and whether the one stairway is sufficient for the three story buildings.
Next continued hearings on September 24 and October 1.
9/24/12 will be the opportunity for public comments. If possible, there will also be the financial review by the town’s consultant.
Gatehouse spokesperson suggests that they disagree with the vast majority of the consultant’s comments.
Size of development not dissimilar to industrial buildings to the north and west.
Keep mature tree last line along West Street to provide the best buffer.
There was a disagreement over the 5+ acres of uplands noted by the ZBA chair as available versus Gatehouse’s engineer saying 7+ acres were available. Heated comments were made about the disagreement.
Gatehouse attorney makes point that their project is not supposed to be subjected to greater review than other projects, and suggest that Medfield does not subject regular projects to similar peer review.