With opposition growing in the back end of Belmont Hill, the town is moving forward to sell a one-and-a-half acre parcel of land off Woodfall Road that an Atlanta firm has expressed interest in building an end-of-life facility.
A draft of a request for proposal for the 229,000 square-foot town-owned parcel situated off Greenbrook Way and Woodfall abutting was presented to the Board of Selectmen at its Monday night, Aug. 6, meeting.
According to the document, bids will be accepted until Wednesday, Oct. 3, for the site after the Board of Selectmen approves a final version of the draft.
View the draft RFP on this website.
The draft RFP – created by the Planning Department's Jay Szklut – will be discussed at the board's next meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 15 at 7 p.m.
And the selectmen understand there will be a great deal of "public interest" when the proposal comes up on the board's agenda.
"I just want to make clear that this is simply an RFP" and not the sale of the property, said Mark Paolillio, the selectmen's chairman, commenting on the growing number of e-mails each selectman has received in the past week.
, residents along Woodfall Road and the surrounding area began organizing opposition to a commercial facility in the neighborhood. Signs have been popping up on lawns reading "Keep Hillcrest Single Family Homes" and a fledgling group has set up a website.
Four lots as of right
The parcel is zoned as four-buildable lots but it was created as a residential subdivision "because it was easy to appraise the land that way," said Office of Community Development Director Glenn Clancy last month.
The town has placed the parcel – which was created with a land swap between the town and the Belmont Country Club – on the auction block after initial attempts in 2007 fell through due to financial issues with the first round of developers, recalled Selectman Ralph Jones.
Town officials now say numerous inquires concerning the parcel have been received. The proposal which has become public is by Integra Medicial Properties, the Atlanta-based national developer of medical facilities which plans to build a single-story hospice on the site.
The 16,000-square-foot facility would have 15 to 18 patient rooms, a common area, nurse's station, a small kitchen and some office space. Each patient room will have a small private patio.
A developer can construct four residential houses "as of right" without further town approval; a commercial development would require a special permit that would be issued by the Planning Board which could place guarantees on a project in terms of traffic, density and other areas set out in the RFP.
Belmont Town Counsel George Hall commended Szklut's RFP as not simply seeking the maximum economic development but how it will add value to the town and neighborhood.