Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Proposed Zone Change- 916 Williams Street

This letter has been submitted to the LongmeadowBuzz by Mark Gold, a member of the Longmeadow Select Board.... 


916 Williams Street (Colvest-Longmeadow LLC-owner)

At the October 4, 2021 meeting the Select Board voted 3-2 to place an article on the Special Fall Town Meeting warrant that would change the zoning of the parcel of land at the corner of Redfern Drive and Williams Street that is currently the site of the First Church of Christian Scientists.
This 2.92 acre site has been owned by a developer for several years.  The developer is seeking the zone change from residential to commercial to allow for commercial development of the property.
At a hearing earlier this summer, the Longmeadow Planning Board voted 4-1 to oppose this zone change.  Their primary reason for this opposition was that the developer did not present a site and design plan for review by the Planning Board, but rather discussed general alternatives for the development of the property.  The Planning Board opposed the zone change because without an approved site and design review by the Board, a zone change would give a developer " carte blanche" to construct commercial development on the property.
This proposed zone change will be the subject of a vote at the Special Town Meeting that will be held on Tuesday, November 2nd at 7 PM (location to be determined).  
It is important that residents interested in voicing and voting their opinions on this proposal attend that meeting IN PERSON.  There are no provisions for absentee or proxy voting at a town meeting. 
If you are interested in contributing your vote to this issue, please attend this meeting.  If you know of someone who lives in the neighborhood who should know of this upcoming vote, please pass along this information to them. 
Mark Gold/ Longmeadow Select Board


Jeffrey Roberts said...

This Mark Gold post is misleading. The developer does not submit plans for site and design review until he has a project, and only has a project if the zone is changed to Business. Until then, all he can do is show a proposed plan for what he intends to do on the site, which the developer did at the Planning Board hearing. Mr. Gold makes this sound like some sort of scheme, which it is not. Most interesting to me as a lifelong resident is that for all his talk about Longmeadow's tax base and revenue problems, he says nothing about how the Town can benefit from rezoning this parcel from single family residential to Business. Rezoning will generate seven to ten times the tax revenue compared to residential. Mr. Gold also opposed rezoning (which the Town wisely approved) for the expansion of the Longmeadow Shops for the CVS and other retail next to the CVS. The CVS expansion has also added far more to Town revenue on its parcel than what could have been produced under the residential zone. We need to pay attention to generating revenue from unproductive properties, and this is a great opportunity to do so.

Jeffrey Roberts said...

Mark Gold"s comments are misleading. Detailed plans cannot be submitted to the Planning Board for Site Plan review until after the zone is changed to Business. The PB hearing held on June 8 addressed the issue of the zone change, not the site plan, but at that hearing the developer presented design concepts of what he intends to do if the zone is changed. Nothing unusual is going on here. What I find most regrettable is that for all Mr. Gold's talk about the Town needing to increase its tax base, he not only objected to the rezone from Residential to Business for the CVS expansion (which Town Meeting approved over his objections), his antagonism to this rezone is obvious and equally unreasonable. The fact is that the development of this parcel will generate seven to ten times the revenue than the three houses that could fit on this parcel, and there is no other logical use for it.