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CVS's move to Church St. in Braintree win an endorsement

Posted by Jessica Bartlett  October 24, 2012 12:56 PM

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(Top) The proposed redevelopment of 90 Church Street includes a new CVS store and ample parking. (Bottom) The current site has three buildings on it that will be torn down.

The Ordinance and Rules Committee unanimously recommended rezoning an area on Church Street to facilitate the relocation of a CVS from South Quincy to North Braintree, sending the rezoning application to the full City Council for approval.

Representatives from CVS as well as attorneys representing owner Michael Shea attended Tuesday's committee meeting, spelling out the desire to transform 9,987 square feet of the 1.6-acre parcel of 90 Church St. from Residence C to General Business zoning.

While the meeting was for a rezoning, applicants showed renderings of the proposed CVS project, which would demolish the three existing buildings on the site and rebuild a single CVS store with drive-through for prescriptions in the back.

The plans were complete with 400 plantings that would add green space to the lot and hide the expressway and train tracks located behind the proposed lot.

Recommended by the Planning Board, the zoning change would enable CVS to lease the land long-term from the Shea family, which ran a Chrysler dealership on the lot for decades until the franchise was taken away from them in 2008.

Though the family was able to turn the business into a used car dealership, they were recently approached by CVS about a new project.

“As people who care about the neighborhood, they wanted to adopt a project that went well with the fabric of Braintree,” said Joseph Driscoll, an attorney representing the Sheas.

According to attorney Frank Marinelli, representing CVS, the project will bring a renewed energy to the space, not only adding landscaping, but resolving a property use that currently does not conform with the zoning in the area.

“We want everyone to know what this project is, because it’s a great project, great redevelopment,” Marinelli said.

If approved, the CVS would replace the South Quincy location that is shared with a liquor store.

“[This is] better, more convenient. It functions better and won’t have intensity of demand of some other general business uses,” Marinelli said.

Marinelli detailed the extensive communication the chain has done with neighbors, hosting two neighborhood meetings.

Councilor John Mullaney agreed that the applicant had been responsive to neighborhood concerns, even changing the lighting on the CVS sign due to a resdient's request.

The redevelopment would also increase the tax assessment on the property, going from a $1.395 million assessment to probably more than $2 million.

Councilor Leland Dingee also supported the application and commended the applicant for their open communication with residents. “This is how you offer a project to the neighborhood,” he said.

Earlier concerns he had about traffic were largely unfounded, he said, evidenced by traffic numbers provided by the applicant – which would increase about one car every 3-20 minutes – and by his own experience.

The committee voted 4-0 to recommended the rezoning.

The zoning change will be brought to the full council on Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m. for a recommendation. If passed, the developer would then need to submit plans to the Planning Board, where further discussions will occur about lighting, design, and signage.

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