A photo of 207 Bedford Street

11-unit townhouse project on Planning Board agenda Monday

A Bedford Street couple is looking to turn their single family home into an 11-unit apartment building, according to documents filed with the Abington Planning Board.

The Planning Board will meet Monday at 6 p.m. at Town Hall. The panel will also continue discussing a proposed apartment building at 176 Wales Street, a new set of stormwater management regulations, and meet with the owners of 652 Adams Street and 67 Oak Street about illegally removed and dumped fill. 

The owners of 207 Bedford Street want to raze the existing home and build a nearly 10,000 square foot apartment building. Sketchings of the proposed building were not including in the filing with the Planning Board. Residents would enter the complex off West Chapel Street, and park on the side and behind the building. A retention basin would be constructed in the property’s southwest corner to handle runoff from the site, which drops off six feet from corner to corner. An engineering consultant for the Planning Board has identified seven pages of deficiencies within the filed plans that need addressing.

It is not clear at this time whether the project can be constructed under the town’s current water restrictions. The Abington/ Rockland Joint Water Works has a freeze in place for new water hookup applications while it studies the system’s capacity and supply needs.

At its May meeting, the Planning Board heard from the proposed developers of a 10-unit, 1-bedroom apartment complex at 176 Wales Street. The lot, which at one time held a house, has been vacant for years. It’s located next to the Arnold Shoe Works building.

Based on comments from town engineering consultants, the Planning Board raised a number of concerns about whether the project can properly fit on the site. In addition, the developers need special permission to build the apartment building; the property is located in a district zoned for downtown business, which requires new construction to include a business component.

Like with the Bedford Street proposal, it is not clear whether the joint water works has given preliminary approval to the Wales Street project.

The Adams Street and Oak Street hearings are related to the protracted review into 662 Adams Street, where a Milton businessman started a commercial trucking storage company on a residential property without town permits, and then ignored multiple cease and desist orders. The Planning Board approved the business’ site plan in May, requiring it to add additional buffering and not perform repairs on site.

One of the biggest problems with the business’ activities is that the owner illegally leveled a hill in the property’s back corner. The hill straddled the property line with the residential home at 652 Adams Street, and the homeowner gave permission for the business owner to also level his yard. (The relationship between the homeowner and business owner soured quickly afterwards.)

Town bylaws require anyone removing or receiving 250 cubic yards of fill from their property to seek a permit from the Planning Board. This is to ensure the sudden change in topography won’t cause flooding on neighboring properties. Under state law, property owners are not allowed to change their land in a way that causes more water to flow onto abutting properties.

The owners of 652 Adams Street and 67 Oak Street are applying for a belated fill permit. Some of the removed hillside was piled up into a berm on the lot line that separates 662 Adams Street and 67 Oak Street, which is also a commercial property. Both properties will need to show that the illegal work did not have an impact on how water flows across the properties.

The Planning Board will also finalize new stormwater management rules that aim to reduce the amount of and improve the quality of stormwater flowing off construction sites into stormwater drains and, ultimately, into environmentally sensitive areas. The new rules are required by the state Department of Environmental Protection and federal Environmental Protection Agency. They largely only apply to projects that disturb more than an acre of land. The rules also create a new Abington Stormwater Permitting Authority to review projects not covered by the Planning Board and Conservation Commission.

[DISCLOSURE: The author is a member of the Abington Planning Board]

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