Planning Board’s First Public Hearing on Assisted Living Facility is Continued to September 14

The Planning Board Tuesday began a public hearing on LCB Assisted Living’s application for a special permit to construct an assisted living facility at 240-244 South Road.

The hearing is scheduled to continue at the next meeting of the Planning Board on Sept. 14.

LCB’s application culminates nearly a year of work done by the Planning Board to create an assisted living overlay district, which was added to the zoning bylaw by a nearly unanimous vote at May’s annual town meeting.

The LCB project has already received the Conservation Commission’s approval, a win for the team due to the site’s proximity to wetlands in the area. Currently, the plan is undergoing special permit review, a process allowing for any additional town and community input.

Luke DiStefano, Bohler Engineering, presented the site plan for review. As he noted, much of the development work would go to remedy issues on the site. The plan would increase the area of pervious surfaces, reducing stormwater runoff to nearby wetlands. Additionally, nearly an acre of green space will be added to the site, which is now a staging area for Iovino Excavating.

Verdant Landscape Architecture’s Katya Podsiadlo spoke about the green space proposed. She emphasized the sustainability of the landscaping, with all of the proposed plants being native to the area. The wetlands surrounding the lot will also be embraced on the site, keeping the current wetland and adding wetland-native plants in areas on the lot.

Podsiadlo noted that a public path will connect South Road to the Minuteman Bikeway through the LCB property. The path will be open from dawn till dusk and will be gated at the bikeway.

Anthony Vivirito, an architect with the team, pointed out the traditional style and materials that are proposed to be used in the building itself. The peak of the building sits at 43 feet, with an eight-foot addition on the roof to conceal mechanical equipment.

Answering a question from Planning Board member Amy Lloyd, Podsiadlo clarified that all fencing on the site will be wooden, with no PVC or vinyl fencing. Lloyd also inquired about the height of the light poles in the parking lots. The lights stand at 20 feet, below the height of a standard street light.

Planning Board Chair Shawn Hanegan asked about the air conditioning and ventilation. All heating and cooling will be done electrically, with limited fossil fuel use in the kitchen. Board Member Chris Gittins asked if solar will be considered on the site, but LCB’s Lee Bloom responded that they are not looking into it at this time.

Hanegan later brought up bike parking, which Podsiadlo noted is present on the site in the form of a bike rack. Additional bike racks may be added in later planning. Additionally, the site will support four electric-vehicle charging stations.

The public hearing began with Drew Kendra, a northern abutter to the lot, who commented that he would like to ensure that there be a “robust foliage buffer” between the lot and his property.

Min Ma, a resident who lives across from the lot, expressed worries that headlights in the property could shine into her home at night. She also noted that, along with other developments happening in the South Road area, traffic may become higher.

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