EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

November 28, 2012

Affordable housing project nearing approval

Construction would add 224 apartments to town


Addressing concerns, the project includes a three-acre, $110,000 storm water management system that will improve water quality for area residents. Nearly 27 acres of open land along Fish Brook will also be given to the town as part of the project's approval.

"It's being given to the town for no consideration," Johnson said. "It's something we offered to do as part of the approval process."

A new intersection with traffic lights will be built at the intersection of Lowell Street and the project's main entrance, at the existing Windsor Green entrance across the street from the IRS facility in Andover.

Several other requirements are outlined in the Zoning Board's decisions. Among them:

Construction will be limited to weekdays only, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Construction on Saturdays can be approved by the town's building inspector;

With one of the two buildings being built alongside Route 93, all apartments with windows facing the highway will need to be sound-proof; and

Developers will need to give the town $150,000 to fund "corridor planning and improvements on Lowell Street."

Before construction begins, other local and state permits will be needed. The Conservation Commission, which has worked with the Zoning Board throughout the process on area wetland concerns, will need to approve the construction of a new entrance onto Lowell Street, according to Johnson.

Because of the other permits needed to get a shovel in the ground, Johnson said he wasn't sure when construction would begin or how long it would take to build the two buildings.

"Whatever state permits we need we'll be working to obtain, and we will be filing a notice of intent for the construction of the entrance way with the Conservation Commission," Johnson said. "We're certainly happy to be working toward the conclusion of the public hearings."

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