BELLINGHAM - Town officials said the planning process for a housing development on the former Macy Elementary School grounds is progressing and an approval might be coming soon.
The project - for a 12-lot subdivision on the 15-acre Monique Drive property, proposed by the Milford-based Lobisser Building Corporation - is currently before the Planning Board. Town Administrator Denis Fraine said the board's first hearing took place on Feb. 8.
"It was a good hearing," he said. "There were some residents there, and they had a few questions related to the project's layout."
After the hearing, Fraine said, the board directed Town Planner James Kupfer to draft a favorable decision on the matter. The board members would review and comment upon that draft before rendering their final decision. Officials have noted that the project plans resemble to what had been in the town's request for proposals: up to 12 single-family homes that fit the character of the neighborhood.
Should the board approve the proposal, it would represent the finalization of the town's sale of the land to Lobisser.
"The sale price was around $570,000," said Fraine. "Ten percent was required at the time of the signing of the agreement, with the balance due once the Planning Board approved the project."
The Clara Macy School closed in 2015, and was torn down a year later. At Town Meeting, local citizens allowed the town to sell the property for residential development. An initial RFP, though, failed to receive any bids. After receiving feedback from developers, officials opted to drop an affordable housing component for the project and held another RFP. Selectmen selected Lobisser's $575,000 bid for the property in September 2017.
As per neighbor requests, the town will keep the former school's playground and baseball field, and Lobisser will be providing a paved parking lot for access to those facilities. The baseball field will no longer be regulation size, but can still be used for practice.
Mike Gleason can be reached at 508-634-7546 or email@example.com. For news throughout the day, follow him on Twitter @MGleason_MDN.