By Jonathan Phelps email@example.com
---- — ANDOVER — Selectmen have sent a letter to the Zoning Board of Appeals asking them to take a close look at the impact a proposed affordable housing project on Lowell Street will have on the traffic in the area.
While the Zoning Board last month rejected a proposed 248-unit 40B housing complex on Shattuck Road, the board is still weighing its decision on the proposed plan to build about 224 units on Lowell Street. A continued public hearing will take place at 7 tonight at the Memorial Hall Library.
After hearing a presentation on concerns about the impact of area traffic from Sioux Circle resident Susyn Lichtenberg at a recent selectmen’s meeting, the board decided to send the letter.
Selectmen Chairman Paul Salafia said the board wanted to express the board’s concerns about the traffic congestion and safety associated with the project.
“We don’t really have any standing except to ask the Zoning Board to take a close look at traffic and the congestion,” he said.
The letter asks the Zoning Board to take a close look of all data, including vehicle accidents, traffic counts and any possible mitigation to reduce the concerns raised.
“As public officials, our first concern is always the safety and well-being of our citizens,” the letter reads.
The Zoning Board of Appeals has been looking at the two projects for the past nine months. Both project have been controversial among residents, who claim the projects will cause traffic problems, wetland issues and overcrowding at area schools.
The proposed development on Lowell Street would be behind the existing Windsor Green apartment complex, which has 191 units. The revised plan calls for 134 one-bedroom apartments — 70 two-bedroom and 20 three-bedroom.
Last month, concerned about its proposed location in an industrial park, the Zoning Board rejected plans for a 248-unit affordable housing complex to be built on Shattuck Road off River Road. The developers were expected to appeal the decision.
The proposal called for four residential buildings that would each be four stories tall.
The buildings would have been wedged between various industrial properties in the area, which prompted opposition from several area businesses.