555 Hopping Brook Special Permit Denied by Planning Board
Planning Board Chair Karen Apuzzo-Langton called the July 29, 2021 meeting to order at the scheduled hour. She alerted those joining via Zoom that the meeting was not a public hearing and the members of the Board would be deliberating on Special Permit request by CRG Integrated Real Estate Solutions for a project located at 555 Hopping Brook Road.
After taking care of other administrative business the Board focused on the Special Permit request. Chair Langton laid out that the Public Hearing for the project began on July 23, 2020 and closed on June 3, 2021. During the intervening months, there were 12 hearing sessions at which 68 different speakers were heard. Additionally, 167 pieces of written input were received. CRG contributed content as requested throughout the process.
The purpose of this meeting was to vote on the Special Permit and have a “free-flowing discussion by the Board” on the narrative that supports the Board’s position on the matter.
While the membership of the Board changed after this May’s Town Election, the Board members who were serving throughout the Hearing process: Karen Apuzzo-Langton, David Thorn, Scott Ferkler, Jason Santos, and Josh Santoro would be eligible to vote on any motions involving CRG.
Karen Langton, Town Counsel Jay Talerman, and Town Planner Karen Sherman drafted a narrative that summarizes the key points / concerns expressed during the Hearing process: Traffic, Noise, Lighting, Impact on the quality of life for Holliston and Medway neighbors.
Some of the points raised by the Board during this initial discussion were:
- Traffic enforcement ultimately falls to the Town.
- Can’t ensure the noise and light levels will meet requirements.
- The historic character of Holliston is at risk from increased truck traffic.
- The sheer size and scale of the proposed 800,000 sq. ft. building – larger by far than any other building in Holliston.
- The use of the building is still unclear.
- This is a special permit request that has an impact that is too big.
At this point the Board took a vote on the project. All five voting members of the Board voted to Deny the Special Permit request for the 555 Hopping Brook Project.
Following the unanimous decision, the Board reviewed the draft narrative compiled by Chair Langton, Attorney Talerman, and Planner Sherman. The goal to was to make the language stronger.
Below are some excerpts from the DRAFT narrative:
The Board’s input to the narrative was captured by Attorney Talerman and Planner Sherman for inclusion in the final document for signing.
The Board approved the narrative as amended and authorized Chair Langton to sign the final document.
The meeting adjourned at 8:20pm.