KEYPORT – An applicant is seeking variances and planning board approval to construct a 24-unit apartment building at 25 E. Front St., Keyport.
On Dec. 12, members of the Keyport Unified Planning Board heard testimony regarding the proposed redevelopment plan. Testimony is expected to continue at a special meeting of the board on Feb. 13.
The applicant, Keyport Professional Plaza, LLC, is seeking preliminary and final major site plan approval to construct 20 one-bedroom apartments and four two-bedroom apartments and to continue the existing uses at 25 E. Front Street.
According to a legal notice published as part of the application, the plan requires a use variance because residential uses are not permitted in the GC zone district; a height variance because the maximum height permitted is 35 feet and the average proposed building height is 43.37 feet; and a variance for parking spaces because 84 parking spaces are required and 74 parking spaces are provided.
Attorney James F. Clarkin III represents the applicant and said the developer has proposed the construction of an apartment building containing 24 units to be rented at market rates. Clarkin said a neighboring building would be demolished to accommodate the proposed redevelopment.
The property at 25 E. Front St. is currently occupied by Endeavor House, a two-building treatment center for individuals who are dealing with substance abuse disorders. Clarkin did not state which building would need to be demolished.
Clarkin said if the application receives approval from the board, it is hoped that construction on the project could begin in the summer of 2019.
Testimony on behalf of the applicant was offered by engineer Mike Marinelli, architect Rick Perez and traffic engineer John Rea.
Marninelli, of Menlo Engineering Associates, said concerns were previously outlined in a letter issued by T&M Associates, an engineering firm. The concerns included adding a fenced-in garbage enclosure and providing space for an on-site maintenance vehicle and moving trucks.
Marinelli said the applicant plans to landscape the area around the garbage enclosure.
“We have submitted a revised document,” he said. “In addition to that … we were able to accommodate an additional dumpster location to include two 6 cubic yard bins and have an accessway for the tenants and/or (employees) of the office spaces.”
“The biggest change we made (to the plans) was related to storm water management,” Marinelli continued. “We have presented … a plan to collect all of the roof leaders from the proposed building and discharge them in the grass area on the north side of the building.”
Perez described the appearance of the proposed apartment building, saying, “we tried to do something a little more contemporary and modern to try and attract people, but we can certainly make it more traditional.”
Board members asked how that could be accomplished and Perez said the windows of the proposed building could be revised “to be more traditional.” He said he would continue to work with design professional to revise the proposed cornices “to the satisfaction of the board.”
Rea presented a traffic and parking analysis for the site plan. He said he visited the site of the proposed apartment building three times to make sight observations and determine the current and future parking demand.
“Parking is the bigger issue,” Rea said. “Traffic on Front Street is on the low to moderate side in terms of volume and from my observations and from the traffic counts, the (vehicles) that are entering and exiting the site, to and from Front Street.
“Even during peak hours, there is very little delay with traffic associated with getting on and off of Front Street,” he said.
Rea said there would be 20 parking spaces in a garage that would be part of the apartment building and 54 parking spaces in a surface lot to be shared by tenants, employees of the office buildings at the site and existing townhouse owners.
Rea said the partial demolition of a building at the site could accommodate additional parking stalls.
The application was carried to the board’s Feb. 13 meeting.