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By Joyce Westner Dec. 2, 2023

Tuesday’s Planning Board meeting included a report on the design changes to the proposed apartment project on Waterfield Road.  The Select Board already approved the changes at their meeting, but this was a full discussion of the differences.  Town Planner Taylor Herman told the board that because the site needed room for a fire truck to turn around in the parking area, that the project would have lost five units.  Instead, Civico, the contractor, raised the front of the building to four stories without a roof deck, so only four units would be lost, bringing the total to 56 with no loss off affordable units.

The building would be set back from the road instead of starting at the sidewalk, and would have a front garden area.    

The other changes included a smaller number of parking spaces, and a different building design so it won't block an abutter’s window.  Civico’s Joe Haskett told the board that there wouldn’t be any loss of ground-level parking spots and that none of the changes involved any financial loss to the town which plans to lease the lot to Civico. 

If all proceeds as planned, construction would begin in 2025.  Michael Santos of the engineering firm VHB told the board that they would follow the town’s requirement to have 20% of the parking spaces for electric vehicle charging stations, and they’d also include a covered bike rack on the first level with an underground bike rack as well. 

Joseph Carli, owner of the abutting A Tavola restaurant on Church Street asked about how the building would affect the garden in back of the restaurant, and was told that a considerable amount of it intrudes on the Winchester-owned property. 

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