EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

May 10, 2013

Aerial mapping firm wins approval for expansion

NORTH ANDOVER — A local firm that does aerial mapping has won approval for plans to expand the business that’s located at Lawrence Municipal Airport.

The Planning Board on Tuesday night unanimously approved Flight Landata’s petition to double the size of its quarters at 250 Clark Road. The company intends to build a 9,680-square-foot addition that will include hangar space and a research and development area.

Attorney Jill Mann of Middleton, who represented Flight Landata in the approval process, said the Conservation Commission has already given its blessing to the expansion.

The Planning Board also approved most of the recommendations of the Community Preservation Committee, which advises the town on how to spend the money it raises from the 3 percent surtax on real estate tax bills. John Simons, who chairs both the Planning Board and Community Preservation Committee, recused himself from voting on the recommendations.

The other Planning Board members present — Lora McSherry, David Kellogg, Richard Rowen, Michael Colantoni and Lynne Rudnicki — unanimously supported spending $903,350 for an extensive upgrading of McEvoy Field.

They also unanimously backed spending:

- $461,894 to purchase 138 High St. and build three homes for veterans there;

- $436,950 to replace the slate roof at the Stevens Estate;

- $397,000 for renovations at two properties owned by the North Andover Historical Society, the Parson Barnard House and the Johnson Cottage;

- $300,000 for new playing fields on Dale Street;

- $130,000 for renovations at the Scholfield Mill, where the North Andover Thrift Shop is located;

- and $7,500 for getting Ridgewood Cemetery listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

At Simons’ suggestion, the board held off on voting on a proposal to set aside up to $500,000 to buy 8 acres off Foster Street for preservation as open space. Simons said more information is needed about the possible purchase of the land, which is now owned by Albert Manzi Jr. Simons said the land could be developed.

The May 21 annual Town Meeting will have the final word on how the Community Preservation money is spent. Article 21 comprises the recommendations of the Community Preservation Committee.

The Planning Board’s votes on the recommendations mirrored those of the selectmen the night before.

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