Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


January 24, 2013

Town Meeting: Senior district, school space study will face voters


As officials develop their plans for building a new Town Yard, they have determined that moving it away from its current home on Lewis Street is necessary. Considering what will happen to the Town Yard space once the municipal services facility relocates, the Planning Board and Board of Selectmen are presenting their proposal: rezoning the current Town Yard land for mixed commercial and residential use, effectively extending downtown Andover.

A plan is also coming to the floor to create zoning that would usher in a new senior-focused residential community off River Road, in the north-west corner of Andover. That district, the Senior Residential Community Overlay District, will rezone around 90 acres of land around the currently vacant Franciscan Center to allow for “flexibility in the development f parcels for housing and related services for persons 62 or older,” the article reads.

Two other articles seek to modify existing zoning to allow for larger letter heights on outdoor business fixtures and to change the definition of retail sales establishments and fast food restaurants.


Meanwhile, two articles are coming from the Conservation Commission to buy around 13 acres of land off Lowell Junction Road.

The land is the final piece of Reichhold property for the town to purchase. It has not been acquired yet by the town because of historical contamination issues that needed to be addressed. The town already owns the rest of the property.

It was set to be purchased once before, but contamination issues stopped the acquisition pending remediation. Since then, “the site has undergone a multi-million dollar restoration and is now being reviewed as being clean and ready for use,” Conservation Director Bob Douglas said.

One article will apply for a conservation Local Acquisitions for Natural Diversity grant to help deflect some of the land’s cost. That grant, estimated to be around $200,000, will focus on two of the 13 acres along the Shawsheen River, according to Douglas.

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