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Residents Oppose Proposed Apartments with Access from Peach Orchard Road

Planning Board has concerns, too.

A revised proposal to build 60 apartments in two, two-story building with access from Peach Orchard Road hit a wall last night for area residents and raised concerns from some Planning Board members.

The newest concept, drawn for the proposed Peach Orchard Place after input at a previous Planning Board meeting, would essentially eliminate blasting on the site but would instead place the buildings higher – and, therefore, more visible -- on the site, along with a high wall – 47 feet at its highest point.

Nine members of the audience of about 20 people criticized the newest concept as well as different figures in the traffic study done for Peach Orchard Place, which would be part of Beacon Village.

None of the plans is good, and the newest one is the worst, said one area resident, because it elevates the proposed buildings and “negatively impacts the homes” around the site.

“What are our rights,” asked Peach Orchard Road resident Chris Silva, to say, ‘We don’t want this project?’”

Several members of the Planning Board also asked questions about the newest concept, which they said they received yesterday. They asked questions about the traffic study, including the anticipated increase in cars on Peach Orchard Road at the intersection of Winn Street if the project was built; the intersection itself and the height of the walls in the newest iteration of the proposal.

Board Chairman Paul Roth said he was “suspicious” of the number of accidents reported at the intersection in the last three years:  12. He also questioned the safety of site distances and a proposed pedestrian crossing on Peach Orchard Road as listed in the traffic report and the height of the proposed buildings and walls.

Some residents also questioned adding more multifamily housing in their neighborhood.

The Planning Board, presenters and audience discussed Peach Orchard Place for a little more than two hours.

The board will take the proposal up again at its meeting on July 19.

Town Planner Kristin Kassner told the audience that people who were interested in this issue to call her office before that meeting.

Before comments from the board and audience, Katie Enright, senior project manager for Hancock Associates, outlined the new concept. Robert Vanasse of Vanasse & Associates, Inc., transportation engineers and planners, presented traffic data.

Brickpoint Properties is seeking a special permit for the project.  The company believes the apartments are needed in town, according to a previous Patch interview with Charles Mihok, Brickpoint project manager.

They own the property, commented Roth. It’s their right to propose development there, he continued, but “It’s up to them to satisfy our concerns.”

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