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Going up? Not so fast...

Posted by Ralph Ranalli April 19, 2007 05:52 AM

NEWTON

After fears surfaced about the possibility of unchecked vertical development near Route 9, a development group has offered a new zoning proposal for the area.

Developers of the proposed Chestnut Hill Square project had requested a zoning change for their mixed development that would allow approval of theirs and other large projects with no height restrictions. That proposal drew fire from critics like Ward 6 Alderman Kenneth Parker, who warned that it would alter the city’s zoning code to allow buildings as tall as Boston's Prudential Center.

City Planner Michael Kruse now says that New England Development has changed its proposal so that buildings in new mixed residential and commercial zones would need specific permissions on building height and stories, lot coverage, and open space.

Kruse said last week that the changes in the proposal, which he had not yet reviewed, will be available at a hearing scheduled for Monday night. The proposed zoning amendments would pave the way for the development of Chestnut Hill Square, now planned with two 14-story residential towers, another residence of six stories, and a block of two- and three-story retail buildings.

-- Connie Paige

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