Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

News

April 25, 2013

Zoning in

Mixed views surround proposed transit overlay district

(Continued)

ATODD would do exactly that, specifically around the so-called “Golden Triangle” formed by North Main, Pearson and Railroad streets, according to Materazzo.

As it stands, a number of residential properties are included in the proposed district. But that doesn’t mean folks on Buxton Court would be kicked out of their homes by Starbucks if the proposed zoning passes.

“You have existing zoning there on your home, and you could live in your home for the next 30 years,” Materazzo said. “It didn’t make any sense to rezone only the town properties, because there (would be) no synergy between the surrounding properties.”

The zoning proposal is “the real opportunity to think about this in a whole different way,” said Ken Buckland, principal of The Cecil Group, commissioned by the town to create the zoning proposal.

“This provides a chance for substantial change to reinforce what the center of Andover is all about,” he said. “I see the end product being something that a lot of other communities would love to have.”

Paul Salafia, chairman of the Board of Selectmen, has watched the town tackle the Town Yard issue for decades. For him, as well as a majority of the town’s Board of Selectmen and Finance Committee, adding the overlay is a positive for the town for a variety of reasons.

But there is one reason that stands far above the rest, he said.

“When you rezone that land, you enhance the value of that land,” he said. “That was the intention of the Board of Selectmen, to make that property as attractive as possible to developers.”

Even at the district’s core, removing the Town Yard would add 3 acres to the town’s tax rolls. New businesses and restaurants would also generate tax revenue, officials have said.

CONS: CONTAMINATION, CONGESTION CREATE CONCERNS

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