Planning Board OKs Alternative Access for Perkins Road Workforce Housing

The Planning Board has unanimously approved an alternative entry point to a proposed 240-unit workforce housing development on Perkins Road.

Located off Exit 5 of Interstate 93, Wallace Farm features 10 garden-style buildings, a clubhouse, a pool and a manager’s office.

After running into difficulty obtaining an easement from the abutting hotel, the Sleep Inn, to cut across the property for the approved access to the proposed development, developer Thomas Monahan proposed shifting the driveway about 200 feet south.

The alternative access would required a waiver to lighting regulations to ensure the access is safely illuminated, which would result in a small amount of added light within the proposed right of way.

Monahan’s attorney, Jay Leonard, assured the Board the access directly across from Vista Ridge remains their preferred plan for the site, and that they will continue working to secure the easement so that construction can move forward as initially proposed.

The Board had continued a decision on the alternative access from its July 8 meeting, asking Monahan to contact abutters who would be affected by construction of the alternative access.

“The Board asked us to try to contact the abutter across the street to talk about headlights coming out of the new entrance and the impact on the property across the street,” Leonard said at the Board’s Aug. 12 hearing. “Mr. Monahan spoke to the property owner personally, and he has no concerns whatsoever. The important thing we learned along the way is the property is commercial and will be developed as commercial down the road, so it won’t impact the property.”

However, neighbors living across from the approved access on Perkins Road did express concern that the headlights of vehicles exiting the housing development will shine into their windows.

“I see an egress only 35 feet from my house. How come no one talked to me?” Brian Micciche of 59 Perkins Road said. “Every time someone pulls out of the egress, their headlights will shine into my bedroom window.”

“We’re both below grade, so every time someone comes up that road, headlights will shine into the houses. There will be at least 200 cars coming in and out at all different hours of the days and nights, not to mention snow plows,” James Fabiano of 61 Perkins Road said.

“I’m not saying no to this, I’m just saying there should be some greenery, at least 8 feet tall, to buffer this,” Micciche said.

Monahan said he is amenable to doing whatever he can to mitigate impacts to his neighbors.

“We want to help him out. If there’s an issue, we’ll do what it takes. Down the road, when the access way comes to fruition, if it calls for 6-foot greens, we’ll do that,” he said. “We will mitigate the issue.”

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