Involvement in the Development Process
SLCA seeks to be involved with developers in shaping
development projects to benefit both the community and the developer. Two
recent South Lexington development projects provide contrasting examples of
success in meeting this goal:
55 Hayden Avenue
SLCA worked with developer Spaulding and Slye to arrive at a mutually acceptable proposal for the expansion of an existing building after an earlier proposal from WR Grace Corporation for the same property was opposed by SLCA and rejected by Town Meeting. Virtually all of SLCA's objections to the initial proposal were addressed by Spaulding and Slye in conjunction with SLCA, resulting in SLCA's endorsement and unanimous passage of the proposal at a Special Town Meeting. Changes requested by SLCA and addressed by Spaulding and Slye included:
· Reducing the Floor Area Ratio (FAR) to .18 by replacing the first of four floors of expanded office space in the initial proposal with one floor of parking, while the number of new outdoor parking spaces required was almost halved. FAR is the ratio of the final structure's total floor area to the total lot size.
· Drainage for all existing parking along with the new parking was upgraded to Best Management Practices. Proper drainage is critical to South Lexington because much of the area drains into the Cambridge Reservoir which is a source of drinking water for local communities. Other areas of South Lexington drain into the Swammonland, which has been a source of flooding in some areas of South Lexington during heavy rains.
· Other components of the successful proposal included
significant financial commitments to traffic mitigation and conservation of the
Hayden Woods town conservation land directly behind the development.
SLCA opposed the proposed rezoning of the Ledgemont property at the corner of Hayden Avenue and Spring Street submitted to Town Meeting as Article 18 in 2003. The proposed development would have increased the Floor Area Ratio for the property to .32, including existing residential property also proposed for rezoning. The article was unanimously opposed by the Planning Board and the Board of Selectmen, and was ultimately withdrawn by the developer before reaching a vote at Town Meeting.