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Done: Murray Sandler Redevelopment Gets Final OK

With restrictions in place, work can start on new 'retail village' on Concord Avenue.

After years of waiting, the former Murray Sandler Skate Shop property has the go-ahead to become a viable commercial enterprise.

On Tuesday, July 12, the Belmont Planning Board unanimously voted to approve the site plan submitted by owner Robert Orfaly and his development team to build a one-story brick retail village at 70 Concord Ave.

The decision came in the wake of the Zoning Board of Appeals decision on Monday, July 11, to grant zoning relief to Orfaly for various bylaw deficiencies at the site including side and rear setback, limited parking spaces and landscaping matters.

The Planning Board approved the location of a dumpster, with the stipulation that it cannot be used for restaurant waste; the fencing scheme in the back of the property with the applicant required to work out details with the abutters; the rear and side façade surfaces; and landscaping plans on the town’s sidewalk as long as they meet Board of Selectmen approval and an ongoing maintenance program is established.

Members of the Planning Board said the re-submitted plan responded to their earlier concerns and, as a result, will improve the site.

The only hiccup in the evening’s proceedings occurred when attorney Paul Faxon, of Archstone Law Group, who is representing Belmont Dental Group, formally requested that the board require the applicant to come up with a definitive and enforceable parking condition such that the town knows exactly where the site’s employees will park their cars.

On Monday, the ZBA imposed a condition that the site’s employees not park on any neighborhood streets. Faxon requested stronger language and asked that the Planning Board impose that the property owner must indicate precisely where the employees will park.

The Planning Board, however, declined to put further restrictions on top of what the ZBA had already required.

“We have not not heard from one resident who is opposed to this project,” said Planning Board Chairman Sami Baghdady.

“None have not said a thing about parking but, rather, are very happy that this is an eyesore that will be developed and put on our tax roll.”

Gloria Voce July 13, 2011 at 08:10 PM
Very disappointed in the attitude of the Belmont Dental Group. Did they, or will they, voice an objection when the Chinese restaurant opened shop on the corner? What about the proposed Sushi shop next door? The former Matilda's site? Will they voice an ojection each time there's a new business opening in the area? Their reaction appears to be all about me, me, me and not what's best for the community.
Joe July 19, 2011 at 03:33 PM
Interesting how the dental office is so concerned about where other business employees are going to park. Where do they park, I'm sure right on concord avenue or the side streets. Guess they just don't want their spot taken or rules enforced that may affect them. No wonder there are so many empty storefronts and a few abandoned buildings in this town. Oh my, cars, fences, lights and dumpsters; it's not lions and tigers and bears. Businesses pay more taxes than residents, so the nearby houses should be glad. Also they are getting that eyesore removed from their neighborhood, unless they like seeing it and will miss it. I'm sure once it's done, it can't possibly look worse than it does currently.

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