SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Local News

February 15, 2013

Cabot Street apartment building receives approval

Beverly: Planning Board says no to extra parking for controversial project

(Continued)

“The board’s decision was unconscionable but not unexpected,” he said. “We knew going in we were up against a brick wall. It’s all about development at the cost of the neighborhood and the cost of the taxpayers.”

The Planning Board voted 4-3, with one member abstaining, to approve the site plan for the building, which at 341/2 feet is under the 55-foot height limit for the area set by zoning laws.

The board also voted 4-3 on the special permit that would allow smaller and more parking spaces on the site. But since the granting of a special permit requires a supermajority of six votes, the extra parking was shot down. Holloran said the building will now have 10 or 12 parking spaces instead of the 17 that he wanted.

The reduced parking goes against the wishes of some board members and neighbors who wanted to avoid having residents and customers of 130 Cabot use city parking spaces.

Planning Board Chairman Richard Dinkin, who voted in favor of the project, asked if any members wanted to reconsider their vote, but they did not.

“This project does not fit the neighborhood,” said James Matz, who voted no. “It’s too big in scope.”

But Tom Alexander, the lawyer who represented the developer, said the building will represent a big improvement over the “derelict” property that is there now.

“It’s not a good thing for there to be vacant lots in a downtown,” Alexander said. “This is really what the city needs.”

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or pleighton@salemnews.com.

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