The long-contested Oceanside Village project may still be before the Housing Appeals Committee, but that isn’t stopping the project from going before the Conservation Commission.
The applicant, Oceanside Village, LLC of Westborough, filed an application with the commission May 22 to construct a 250-unit condominium complex on the Proving Grounds, a 50-acre lot of land off of Hatherly Road and Tilden Road last week. According to the application, the condominiums will be 169 townhouse units and 81 garden-style apartment units.
The project borders three vegetative wetland areas, while an additional uphill parcel is recognized in the application as isolated land subject to flooding. The proposal includes a stormwater management plan designed in accordance with the state Department of Environmental Protection Stormwater Management Handbook to collect and control stormwater runoff in the area. Ten of the units will sit upon 2,300 square feet of fill to prevent flooding in the isolated uphill area.
The project will again be filed as a 40B development, which allows the developer to override many local zoning and planning bylaws so long as 25 percent of the project’s units are reserved as affordable housing. As such, 62 of the 250 units would be sold as affordable housing, while the remaining 188 units would be sold at market value.
The proposal is the same as the one currently under review by the Housing Appeals Committee, which is reviewing the order of conditions put forth on the project by the Zoning Board of Appeals upon its decision to approve the project in December 2004.
First put before the ZBA for review in 2003, the Oceanside Village proposal underwent an extensive, year-long review with the board before ZBA members voted to approve the project with conditions. The ZBA approved the project as a 150-unit, 40B development with 38 units to be sold as affordable housing, far from the 250 units proposed by the applicant. The ZBA’s conditions also called for the project to include plans for on-site wastewater treatment as opposed to plugging the project into the town’s sewer line as originally proposed.
The applicant has since appealed the ZBA’s decision to the Housing Appeals Committee in hopes of having the project approved as proposed without the conditions. However, while a decision from the committee is still pending, an application for the same project was filed with the conservation commission, including the request to tie into the town’s sewer system.
“It’s curious to me why they’re filing with the Conservation Commission,” ZBA member Brian Sullivan said. “It doesn’t make sense.”
The Conservation Commission is scheduled to open its hearing on the project on June 11. Selectmen last week raised concerns as to whether or not the commission, which is short of being a full board due to recent resignations from Mike Clark and Sally Coyle in April, will be ready and able to hear the project by the time of the first hearing. Conservation secretary Carol Logue said interviews for the vacant seats will be held on June 5 in hopes of filling out the board by the 11th.