Spruce Street condo project denial appealed

The developer behind a proposed 7-unit townhouse complex on Spruce Street has appealed the Zoning Board of Appeal’s denial of the project.

Abington Investments, LLC, said in a complaint filed in Brockton Superior Court that the zoning board decision was “arbitrary, capricious and issued without authority” as well as “not supported by the evidence and testimony at the hearing.”

The company wants to build seven townhouses on a single-family residential lot located at 287 Spruce Street. The property, which is owned by Glenn LaPointe, is located within the town’s R-20 zoning district, which sets the minimum amount of land required to build a home at 20,000 square feet. Abington’s zoning bylaws allow multi-unit dwellings to be built in an R-20 zone with a special permit from the zoning board.

To earn a special permit from the zoning board, a developer must demonstrate that the project, when compared “to the area, location, relation to the neighborhood and other characteristics would not be injurious to the public health, safety, welfare, morals, order, comfort, convenience, appearance, prosperity, or general welfare…”

In making this decision, the zoning board is required by town zoning bylaws to consider a number of factors, including the impact on water, sewer, and traffic, and that the use is “desirable to the public convenience or welfare.”

The zoning board in March voted 2-1 to deny the special permit saying that the seven units were “too dense” and “not in harmony” with the surrounding neighborhood, which is exclusively single-family homes. Board members Richard Nigrelli and Andrew Burbine were opposed; Andrew Levrault voted in favor.

“Giving due regard to the nature and condition of all adjacent structures and uses, and the district within which the same is located, the Board cannot condition the proposed Project to grant a special permit as it is too dense for the area and would change the look of the neighborhood,” the board wrote in its decision.

The project’s attorney, Jeffrey DeLisi, argued in the complaint that the proposal met the general conditions in the town’s zoning bylaws and that the board’s decision “does not recite any factual basis to support the Board’s findings and or its conclusion to deny the application.”

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