Selectman Aaron Hutchins doesn't want to create any waves with the planning board, but thinks that it may want to look more closely at the approval process for new buildings in town.
Hutchins took an opportunity at a recent Board of Selectmen meeting to voice his concerns, and says his concerns echo those of a number of citizens in town who contact him.
"The building of commercial properties on the Main Street corridor is an issue," he said.
Pointing to a recent structure constructed at the corner of Westbrook Road, Hutchins said, "Because of the natural elevation, it looks like a highrise. It dwarfs this beautiful little home. It is just unfortunate, and I could list example after example of buildings on Main Street. I think we need to talk to the Planning Board. It may look good on paper, but retracts from the quality of life in Northborough. I don't think anyone expected it to have such a domineering effect."
The 12 units of multifamily housing presently being constructed at 5 Westbrook Rd. did receive a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals in July of last year, according to Town Planner Kathy Joubert. The project, which is located in the Downtown Business zoning district, was reviewed by the Design Review Committee before the ZBA granted the permit.
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Joubert added that the development is in conformance with the zoning bylaw that was adopted at the 2009 Annual Town Meeting.
"The Planning Board is currently reviewing some of the density and setback regulations adopted in 2009," said Joubert, "and may be bringing some amendments to the 2013 Annual Town Meeting. I don’t have any proposed language yet but if residents are interested in this topic, it will be discussed at the next few Planning Board meetings. We encourage the participation of the residents regarding this topic."