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Belmont planners want definitive resolution with Cushing Village developers

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  May 15, 2013 04:25 PM

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Smith Legacy Partner

The Pomona, one of the buildings for the proposed Cushing Village development.

Belmont Planning Board officials are hoping to tie up a year and a half's worth of disagreement between town residents and developers who hope to build a luxury mixed-use development in Cushing Square.

The development plans, which were originally brought to the town in 2008 and have been the subject of debate since its first Planning Board presentation in early 2012, have come under fire from residents who said it was too big and stood too tall.

In July, developer Chris Starr of Smith Legacy Partners said he'd withdraw his application and submit a proposal under the state's affordable housing law that would take much control away from the town.

However, Starr re-presented a smaller proposal in October that included taking the fourth-story floor off a residential building and adding a roof deck instead.

Belmont Planning Board chairman Sami Baghdady said he hoped Thursday's meeting would help the proposal finally come to fruition.

"I hope that the Planning Board and applicant can reach a more definitive agreement on bulk, height, footprint and massing of the project," Baghdady said over the phone Wednesday.

According to the development proposal's website, managers cut the site's square footage to nearly 20 percent of the original 2008 proposal, from 225,000 square feet to 184,000 square feet.

The development would hold 142 residential units: 82 one-bedrooms and 60 two-bedrooms. Developers scrapped plans for 15 three-bedroom units.

Starr could not be reached immediately for comment.

The Planning Board meeting will begin Thursday at 7 p.m. in the Board of Selectmen's meeting room at the Homer Municipal Building, located at 19 Moore St.

For more information on the meeting, visit the town's website.

Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at Follow her on Twitter: @jaclynreiss

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