A group of concerned residents is circulating a petition to submit to the Milton Planning Board regarding the Hendries development. The petition, which is available at Esprit de Vin, outlines “modifications which we feel are most critical to the success of the development.” You can find the full text of the petition here.
At the top of the list are two modifications regarding the building’s massing and calling for step backs on the sides of the building that face Central Avenue and Eliot Street. Massing (size and placement of the building) has been an issue throughout the hearings. Several residents have repeatedly voiced concern over the scale of the building and impact it would have on the intersection. Local architect Ellen DeNooyer presented alternative massing studies at a hearing in March.
The petition is the most recent effort by local residents to register their concerns with the board. Previously, the Columbine Cliffs Neighborhood Association submitted a letter outlining their position on the development. The association took exception to the current proposal and requested that the hearings remain open until all outstanding questions had been resolved. The developer, Steve Connelly, had requested that the board close the public hearing and move to a decision. (note: Ms. DeNooyer is a member of the association’s board as is Mr. Mills, owner of Esprit de Vin). Mr. Connelly has repeatedly expressed his concern that the discussions have become “circular” and that the process was stuck.
Neighborhood buy in is seen as something of a requirement regarding other proposed developments. At the June 14th Planning Board session Chair Alex Whiteside told Ms. McEttrick, an attorney representing a development on Hillside Street, that “it (i.e. the development) doesn’t have any support by people in the neighborhood. . . the neighbors don’t seem to love it and that I think is a problem.” And to the developer looking to construct an assisted living facility on the Horseplay site on Randolph Avenue he said, “You are going to have to sell this to the neighbors. If the neighbors say it is spinach and they don’t want it. . . there’s going to be a problem.”
In a recent article on Boston.com – Your Town Milton Mr. Whitside stated he expected that there would be resolution by the end of July. He noted, however, that the borad still needed to hear from developer regarding buidling height, step backs, and public amenities.