Rosebay update


Yesterday I had an informative telephone call from Brian McMillin, the developer of Rosebay, about my prior blog post wherein I stated that he preferred to make design changes to the project within the ZBA comprehensive permit process, and then in response to my outreach to her for a status update on the ad hoc group, an emailed MEMO from Town Planner, Sarah Raposa.

  • Brian outlined for me the many project changes that he had made to accommodate the concerns expressed by the town and the ad hoc group with whom he meet over concerns about the size and scale of the design.
  • Sarah shared her 7/22/2019 MEMO to the Board of Selectmen about the work of the Rosebay Ad Hoc Design Review Group (copy attached below).

Contrary to my prior understanding, I learned that the ad hoc group had made substantial progress in getting changes made to the design, which are enumerated in the MEMO.  I also learned from Brain McMillin that none of my own personal suggestions from having studied the plans this week for how to make it a two story project would work, if it is going to remain a 45 unit project.

This is the conclusion stated in the MEMO:

  • Conclusion:  . . . The group has worked to openly review the design and make recommendations that allowed the developer to put forward the best version of their proposal, and conversely Newgate has been open to the recommendations suggested and have made improvements to their proposed development.

Finally, I note that our fellow residents who so kindly served on this ad hoc group, Greg Sullivan, Todd Trehubenko, and Jim Brand, have tremendous professional experience in the real estate development and design area, so our town got truly first rate, high quality professional input in this process.

Town of Medfield 459 Main Street Medfield, MA 02052 (508) 906-3027 Memorandum To: Board of Selectmen From: Sarah Raposa, Town Planner Date: July 22, 2019 Re: Rosebay Ad Hoc Design Review Group Recommendation In August 2018 DHCD and the Town of Medfield received an application for a 45- unit senior rental development called “Rosebay at Medfield” submitted by Newgate Housing LLC / Brian McMillin. The Board of Selectmen were specific in their municipal comment letter in that the Board is in support of the concept (providing affordable senior rental units as articulated in both the 2016 Housing Production Plan and the Medfield Affordable Housing Trust’s Action Plan) but may opt to not support the project because of the current design and recommend that the ZBA deny the project, as is their right due to the Town’s position in Safe Harbor. Despite the process being a traditional 40B, the Developer agreed to meet, informally, with a few members of town boards that may be helpful in working through some of the massing, height, and bulk issues associated with the proposal. Rosebay Ad Hoc Design Group:  Greg Sullivan Planning Board  Brian McMillin NewGate Housing LLC  Jim Brand AHT/PB Assoc.  Mark Major VMY Architects LLC  Todd Trehubenko AHT  James Koningisor Project Manager  Sarah Raposa Town Planner  Courtney Starling COG Meeting #1 (January 10, 2019): In assessing the major factors influencing the development; the size of the lot, the number of units proposed by the developer, elevator requirements, and the desire to utilize rooftop mechanical systems while maintaining a proportionate roofline, the group felt that that it would be difficult to substantially reduce the massing without reducing unit count. The group challenged Newgate to evaluate additional design changes that might reduce impact. These included recommendations to reduce roof pitch, removal of even taller roof elements, increasing setbacks from road and abutters, continuing character of street frontage with a stone wall, trees and other vegetation, aspects of lighting, and other related changes. The group suggested the applicant create a contextual elevation or graphic showing adjacent buildings, providing neighborhood context, and a site plan showing all site-specific elements such as trees, other vegetation and landscape elements, lighting levels, and their proposed pedestrian path through the site. The Newgate team was proactively engaged and open to the comments of the group. Town of Medfield 459 Main Street Medfield, MA 02052 (508) 906-3027 Meeting #2 (May 2, 2019): The Newgate team presented revised plans, elevations and neighborhood context graphics that included design changes that addressed in actuality or the spirit of the comments of the Design Review Group. The following changes and clarifications were made to the proposal: 1. The front setback from Pound Street was revised from 30.5’ to 60.4’. This is twice the required setback in the RU zoning district. 2. The building height was reduced by 10’ to 40’. The zoning bylaw allows a height up to 35’ for multifamily use in the RU district so this would be a 5’ waiver request. 3. The gross building area was reduced by more than 2,000 square feet (from 50,670 sf to 48,524 sf). 4. The distance to neighboring buildings is shown on the revised site plan indicating compliance with the side setback requirements in the RU zoning district. 5. The walking path from Pound Street to the High School/Middle School is proposed as stone dust. 6. An 8’ privacy fence is proposed between walking path and the adjacent historic property at 58 Pound Street. 7. As requested, the Developer submitted landscaping and lighting plans. The landscaping plan provides context on the preservation of existing vegetation and proposed additional screening. The lighting plan confirms no unnecessary light-spillage over the property line. 8. Additional handicapped parking spaces were provided based on comments from the Fire Department. 9. An outdoor trash enclosure was eliminated from the plan because this building has interior trash and recycling facilities on each floor. 10. Certain exterior architectural elements were added or enhanced to improve the appearance of the building, maintain visual interest, and create character on the building’s elevations. 11. Interior changes include a revised layout of the first floor front and rear entries, lobby area, and amenity spaces to improve the flow of foot traffic and to provide for flow through from front entrance to rear entrance; as well as corrected unit plans. The developer provided additional renderings that provided context with the neighborhood. This area is transitional and includes single family dwellings, multi-family dwellings and institutional structures (high school/middle school complex). The viewpoint looking down Pound Street from South Street still reflects a significant development, but is an improvement considering the previous building. From the other direction, the building is closely abutted to Tilden Village. Conclusion: The Ad Hoc Design Review Group recognizes the position decision that the Board of Selectmen need to make relative to this project, senior affordable housing, and the impacted neighborhood. The group has worked to openly review the design and make recommendations that allowed the developer to put forward the best version of their proposal, and conversely Newgate has been open to the recommendations suggested and have made improvements to their proposed development. We appreciate the BoS taking this into consideration as they assess the current design as this moves forward with the Zoning Board of Appeals process.20190722-Memo_re Rosebay ad hoc design group 07-22-19_Page_2

 

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