By JEN CARDINES
The Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) met on Tuesday, Oct. 18 for their regular meeting where two of the town’s current big projects. The Calendar House project is racing toward breaking ground, while the Cranberry Cove project slowly plods ahead.
A motion to approve the special permit application and the site plan application for the demolition of existing structures and construction of a new senior center passed with a 7-0 vote at the Planning and Zoning Commission (PZC) meeting on Oct. 18.
After a detailed presentation from BL Companies, the architects and engineers for the project, PZC commissioners enthusiastically voted in favor of the Calendar House project.
Ray Gradwell, senior project manager, reported to the PZC with the three-phase site plan that the BL engineers created. He said that the main goal throughout the project is to keep the current Calendar House open while the new facility is being built, which is why BL made the plan in phases.
“Phase one is the building of the new senior center,” he said. “Phase two is to demolish the old senior center, and phase three is to complete the parking lot.”
Regarding safety and privacy concerns, Gradwell said, “We’re showing construction fencing and construction egress areas throughout the perimeter of the site.” He said that the reason for pushing the building farther back on the property was to ensure that the old senior center could be operating during this construction.
When completed, the Calendar House will sit on a lot covered in foliage, including a walking trail around the building.
After months of planning, and an added grant from the state, the Calendar House senior center will be re-built as a brand new facility, followed by the demolition of the existing building. Carrying the motion, the project should go out to bid shortly, said PZC chair Mike DelSanto.
Although officials were optimistic that the project could break ground as early as this fall, Calendar House Commission chair Paul Champagne predicted that construction would start in the spring.
In contrast, Cranberry Cove plans are still being pieced together slowly, as different committees in town are addressing various needs. The site is scheduled to have restaurant and retail buildings, with corresponding parking, at 102 West Center St.
The application to remove the existing structures on the property was tabled during the Oct. 4 meeting because a wetlands meeting later that week was scheduled, with the hopes to return to the PZC for their next meeting.
Bryan Panico from Harry Cole and Sons asked the PZC to table it once again. “We’re still in the process of working with the conservation commission, getting all of their questions addressed,” he said.
The motion to table carried 7-0.