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Voters Approve Fallon Road Rezoning to Allow Residential Development

In the second session of Stoneham's Special Town Meeting on Monday night, voters approved Article 2 which called for rezoning of Fallon Road to allow residential development projects to move forward in the future.

Hundreds of residential housing units may be coming to Stoneham after voters approved rezoning a section of Fallon Road Monday night at the Special Town Meeting.

Sixteen of 17 warrant articles were tackled at the first Special Town Meeting session earlier in the month, but the meeting had to be continued until Monday to tackle Article 2, which asked voters to rezone part of Fallon Road from commercial to residential to allow housing projects to be developed in the future.

A two-thirds majority vote was taken on the article and it was passed unanimously by voters attending the session in the Town Hall Auditorium.

Attorney Charles Houghton, representing developer Fallon Road Realty LLC, discussed the various aspects of the residential projects.

On Sept. 1, 2007, the developer purchased approximately 15 to 16 acres of land at 225 Fallon Road, according to Houghton. A storage facility was developed in the area, and now the developer is looking to construct 298 housing units on the remaining 15 acres of land, according to the attorney.

The "very preliminary design" calls for parking along the outskirts of the property, as well as a parking garage to be built at the center of the property to accommodate nearly two-thirds of the cars, according to Houghton.

Fifty-five percent of the development would be two-bedroom units, while 45 percent would be one-bedroom units, according to Houghton. No three-bedroom units will be allowed at the site, he added.

After having discussions with planning officials in Stoneham and Winchester, the developer has agreed not to develop within 100 feet of the Stoneham-Winchester line, while also keeping the height of the developments under 65 feet, according to Houghton. 

If the project goes according to plan, Houghton estimated the project would take 15 months to build. 

Upon receiving the building permit, which is about $500,000, according to Houghton, the town would receive 50 percent of the nearly $1.8 million one-time mitigation fee. Stoneham would receive the remaining 50 percent when the developer receives the occupancy permit, according to Houghton.

As part of the mitigation plan, the developer will contribute 40 percent of the costs associated with installing a new traffic signal at Park and Marble Streets up to $82,000, design, equip and install a new sewer pumping station on Fallon Road, resurface the top coat of Fallon Road and repair the sidewalk located on the northerly side of Fallon Road.

Houghton noted the town will need approval from the Massachusetts Environmental Protection Act and other state agencies before moving forward with traffic improvements.

The town's traffic study concluded that a residential development will have less of a traffic impact compared to commercial uses.

Stoneham's net revenue is expected to increase $330,000 per year per town's consultant, according to the plan.

One hundred-eight residential units may also be constructed sometime within the next five years at the 200 Fallon Road site—otherwise known as the proposed Home Depot site. 

During the session, members of the Planning Board and Finance & Advisory Board stated their respective boards were in favor of the rezoning article.

Gina Sgarzi October 16, 2012 at 01:05 PM
Where are these children going to go to school ? I believe this would be the South School district which is already filled and children are being sent over to the Central School which will no longer exist. Also, what will happen when Boston Regional gets developed....I also believe that would be the South School District.....hmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!

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