Friday, May 10, 2013
The Planning Board unanimously moved to recommend to the Selectmen that Westford support the town of Norton's home rule petition to get clearer guidelines for affordable housing, or 40B, regulations.
Earlier this week, the Planning Board unanimously moved to recommend to the Selectmen that Westford support the town of Norton in its efforts in getting the state legislature to help with a home rule petition regarding affordable housing, also known as 40B housing due to its chapter in Massachusetts state law. Designed to help towns maintain stock of affordable housing for lower income individuals, the law allows developers to supercede certain local bylaws in municipalities that have less than 10 percent of its housing defined as affordable. Opponents of the law have claimed this lack of local oversight can cause unforeseen stresses on local infrastructure. In the case of Norton, the town is not entirely sure if it has met the 10 …
Sunday, May 5, 2013
The outgoing vice chairman says he would still remain involved in the planning process.
Kevin Borselli said goodbye to the Planning Board this past week. Borselli, who served as the vice chair and chair, said that he was stepping down in order to focus more time on his family and traveling for Raytehon where he works as an engineer. “I would like to thank everyone who supported me through the five years. I especially would like to thank my fellow board members for putting up with me though a lot of this time frame,” said Borselli. He also acknowledged Darrin Wizst, who was in attendance and was the only candidate to run for Borselli's seat in last week's election. “I would like to publicly acknowledge Wizst for stepping up,” he said. Borselli said that he wasn’t really going anywhere and added that he would remain “…
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
One resident came before the Planning Board last week with a citizen's petition that would allow drive-thru restaurants along Littleton Road if approved by Town Meeting.
At last week's Planning Board meeting, Westford resident Andre Lagasse presented a citizen's petition for the Oct. 15 Fall Town Meeting warrant asking for a change in Westford's zoning laws to allow drive-thru restaurants in land parcels zoned "Commercial Highway." Currently, the only Commercial Highway zoned land parcels in Westford exist along the Littleton Road corridor. The ban arose in the 1990s and remained despite a warrant article hoping to overturn it failed in 1998. Lagasse cited health issues for his petition, noting that slipped on the pavement during a winter day when he was trying to get coffee, and that he would not have done so if he had been able to purchase the coffee from his truck. He also noted that other senior …
Friday, August 24, 2012
The Planning Board may have potentially avoided a lawsuit for the town with their 3-2 approval of the third sign across from where Eastern Bank now stands.
It’s been month after month, meeting after meeting, but it’s finally finished. On Monday, the Planning Board approved a standard sign permit for the third and final freestanding entranceway sign at Cornerstone Square in a 3-2 decision. The vote may have been the last planning and zoning measure for the entire plaza before its opening this fall, and could have potentially turned into a lawsuit against the town if it had failed, as noted during the meeting. Cornerstone’s other two entranceway signs at Boston Road and the north side of Littleton Road next to Eastern Bank were granted special permits earlier in the month during a meeting that dragged on for nearly five hours. At that meeting where a determination that this sign on the south …
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Last week, Westford Planning Board chairman Mike Green participated in the board's meeting over the phone thanks to a new town policy. What are your thoughts?
Last week. Planning Board chairman Mike Green participated in the board's meeting despite being out of town, with chairmanship during the meeting going to Vice Chair Kevin Borselli. It was the first time the Planning Board had a member participate remotely and one of the first times ever that any board used the fairly new policy that was finalized a few months ago. Today, we want to get your take on the concept of remote participation for local board members and what role it might play on local governance. Is this good for the town in that it will make it easier for residents that frequently travel to be a part of boards or do you think being there in person is a quintessential part of being a board member? What are your thoughts?
Monday, August 13, 2012
One last look back at other items on the agenda.
Last Monday’s Planning Board Meeting had quite a few other sign requests outside of those for Cornerstone and Market Basket. In case you weren’t there, here’s some of what you might have missed. Kindercare Sign Still in the Air On Carlisle Road, decision on a new sign for Kindercare touched on the topics of size, lighting and the true need for a sign was to help facilitate traffic in and out of the school. The sign request aimed to get a lit sign for the residentially zoned business, comparable to the signage across the street at the industrially zoned Mack Industries, but different than other non-lit businesses along the road near Minot’s Corner. Some neighbors, such as Dan Moran of 1 Whitney Dr., did not want the sign, indicating that …
Thursday, August 9, 2012
While the lettering is taller and closer together than what was originally proposed, the sign is set to become the largest on a retail building in Westford.
Barlo Signs spokesperson Tim Sullivan joked on Monday that if the new supermarket going into Cornerstone Square was called “Market Bag,” it would have been approved pretty quickly. Still, the new Market Basket did finally get its sign request approved, if in a slightly different form that it had originally hoped. After deliberation, the board approved a modified sign that would be six feet tall and have letters spaced more tightly together than the original request that was wider and shorter in height by two feet. The sign was also smaller according to Sullivan, coming in at approximately 57 square feet, coming from an individual measurement of each letter. Confusion arose among members of the board over this was the actual number or the …
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Two of the three freestanding entranceway signs were given Special Permits nearly concluding a process that lasted several hours on Monday night and several months of Planning Board meetings.
Concluding a meeting that lasted four and a half grueling hours, the Planning Board finally came to a conclusion on two of the three freestanding entranceway signs at Cornerstone Square on Monday night, granting Special Permits for signs at the entranceways for Boston Road and the northern side of Littleton Road near Eastern Bank and the proposed Five Guys Burgers and Fries. The vote came at just after midnight and six other agenda items, nearly concluding a process that has been continuing for nearly half a dozen meetings since April. While the board also voted that a Special Permit would not be necessary for the smaller freestanding entranceway sign across from Eastern Bank on the southern side of Littleton Road, a normal sign permit for…
Monday, August 6, 2012
Here's a quick look into what's going on in Westford politics and government for the week of Aug. 6.
Welcome to August, Westford! Here's a quick rundown on some things going on in local government and politics. Planning Board A decision will likely be made on Monday night's Planning Board meeting over the ongoing debate over freestanding entrance signs at Cornerstone Square,which was closed to public discussion at the last Planning Board meeting in July. The meeting also holds another discussion over a freestanding sign request for Kindercare on Carlisle Road and sign requests from three businesses within Cornerstone Square itself (Market Basket, Family Eye Care Center, Five Guys). Conservation Commission On Wednesday night, the Conservation Commission will hold a discussion over the topic of insurance issues with Guard Up and the …
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
It's expected that the Planning Board will make a decision on the freestanding entranceway signs for the project in what will be their fifth meeting discussing the topic.
It appears that a conclusion is finally coming for the ongoing Cornerstone Square entrance sign saga, but that conclusion couldn’t be reached on Monday night. The Westford Planning Board opted to close the public hearing on the issue of freestanding directory entranceway signs for the new development between I-495, Boston and Littleton Road, which will leave the board to make a decision upon information they’ve received on Monday along with hearings in April, May, and June. Cornerstone Square attorney Douglas Deschenes continued to urge approval for the three signs, two of which would be on the northern and southern sides of Littleton Road near Eastern Bank with the other along Boston Road near Exit 32. In particular, he noted that no …