|February 18: MEPA (Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act) Issues Announcement of "Chadwick Mills" and "Lead Mill" meeting. "A consultation meeting will be held to receive advice and comments from agencies, officials, and citizens regarding which environmental issues, if any, are significant for this project. Opinions as to the extent of significance of possible environmental impact will be welcome. MEPA will hold one meeting for both EENFs. They will discuss the Chadwick Mills remediation first, followed by the Lafayette Tides project. A site visit will follow. Dan Garson, Sr. Vice President of Woodward and Curran stated at the meeting that his client was not Glover Estates, LLC, but rather it was National Lead Industries (NL), the original owner of the contaminated site, and successor of the old Chadwick Lead Company. Mr. Garson mentioned that NL had been paying their fees since 2000. He also stated that NL would be cleaning the site whether any development occurred there or not. [Eye witness report] Comments on the projects will be welcome in writing prior to March 10, 2006. DATE: Thursday February 23, 2006; TIME: 1:00 p.m.; LOCATION: Old Town Hall 32 Derby Square/Essex St. Salem (site visit to follow). This is a very significant process for full evaluation of these two projects. MEPA needs to hear from everyone with concerns. Please try to attend and send your comments by March 10, 2006, to: Briony Angus, Environmental Analyst MEPA Office, Executive Office of Environmental Affair, 100 Cambridge Street, Suite 900, Boston, MA 02114
February 9: Environmental Notification Forms files at Lead Mills property. According to recent legal notices in the Salem News and Marblehead Reporter, an Environmental Notification Form (ENF) was filed with the Secretary of Environmental Affairs on or before January 31 by Glover Estates for remediation of the site. The Environmental Monitor also lists an ENF for Lafayette Tides for the 44 unit 40B development planned there.
Apparently, the previous and current developers are attempting to combine the reviews for the State's environmental permitting process, and also to include the Chapter 91 waterways license--a crafty strategy, if a surprising one, too. The public comment period runs through March 10, and at this time, it is not known whether there will be a consultation session and site visit, as was done in March, 2002 when Glover Estates originally filed their ENF for the assisted living facility. After much public input and many concerned comments submitted, MEPA required a full Environmental Impact Report (EIR), though Glover Estates never completed one. At a minimum, both entities should be required to file full EIRs for the remediation and for the development, as well as a separate Chapter 91 license review process.
For reference, the ENFs are located at http://www.mass.gov/envir/mepa, click on Current Environmental Monitor and scroll down to EOEA numbers 13725 and 13726.
Also of interest is a citizen's petition filing to amend the current Marblehead zoning of the lead mills area from shoreline single residence to multifamily residence, including changing, among other things, the setbacks, frontage, and height limits (from 30 feet to 48 feet). It is expected that this will engender a fair amount of discussion at the Planning Board hearings in preparation for the May Town Meeting.
Please keep yourself informed of all these developments and plan to attend the State and local meetings. Without vigilance and vocal participation, before we know it the backhoes will be digging and four atrocious buildings will mark the entrance to our town. Pass this on to anyone else whom you feel would be interested.
November 28, 2005: Lead Mills developers now say they want a large project approved. The 30-unit project that made so much sense a while ago is now too small, unless of course the Town gives them a Project Eligibility Letter. We they didn't get what they wanted the KSS Developers jumped over to 40B and a larger 44-unit project on the 4.4 acre site, currently listed as one of the most polluted in the Commonwealth. The cleanup is planned to be done by the previous owner.
November 21, 2005: Lead Mill Developer says, "I'll scale back, but you'll have to relax zoning."
November 3, 2005: Selectmen call for Chapter 40B to be scaled back. In the wake of a highly contentious meeting on October 25, the Board sent a letter to the Massachusetts Housing Financing Agency demanding that the state stop cramming "affordable housing component" projects into Marblehead under the well-intentioned but badly-outcomed Chapter 40B.
October 21, 2005: Condos on Lead Mill property, 40B Strikes again. Chief Nanepashemet used it as a fort and sacred burial ground but KSS Realty Partners want to use it for exclusive, high priced luxury condos, and, oh yes, a couple of "affordable" condos to help them qualify for Chapter 40B waivers of all Town regulations and building code restrictions. In the recent past, Richard Bane had attempted to put up a nursing home on the site but gave it up in the face of staunch citizen opposition. But, these new developer's well know that history and are pressing on anyway.
October 6, 2005: 40B Construction on Lafayette Street. 485 Lafayette Street there is another 40B "affordable housing" project proposed for the old Lead Mill property. The Selectmen set a hearing date of October 19, in the Selectmen's Room at Abbot Hall at 7:30 p.m. The project as proposed will be comprised of 44 condominiums, 25 percent of which must be affordable. KSS Realty Partners is the developer. 11 of the 44 condominiums are slated to be affordable ($175,000 each) and the other non-affordable units will sold for market value, estimated at $1.2 million each. Eight of the affordable units will be reserved for local residents and employees. Attorney Carl King, former Chairman of the Marblehead Zoning Board of Appeals, who was dismissed from the Board despite his public request to be reappointed, is representing KSS, who has applied for approval of its 40B plans. All comments should be sent in writing to the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency, One Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108. The deadline for public comment is October 31, 2005 (Halloween). Boo!
August 4, 2005: Architect's drawings a of 44-condominium complex proposed for the old Lead Mill site on Lafayette Street at the border to Marblehead were published in the Marblehead Reporter this week. "Lafayette Tides," as the complex is to be known, originally was a smaller project which did not obstruct the neighbors' views but their intense opposition caused the developer to redeploy the plan under Chapter 40B (affordable housing) skirting the Town's regulatory boards and commissions but increasing the number of units and blocking the views. There is continuing opposition.