Oppose Ledgemont Rezoning!
We the Undersigned, oppose the proposed rezoning of the Beal Companies property at Hayden Avenue and Spring Street, Lexington, MA, which would permit the construction of a SEVEN STORY COMMERCIAL BUILDING, Ledgemont III, for the following reasons, some of which were cited when the Planning Board disapproved a similar proposal in 2003. 1. Increased traffic demands are being estimated considering improvements that have not been built (traffic lights, sidewalks, etc.) or implemented (Police control at problematic intersections.) Increased demands from the Patriot Partners site are forthcoming and are also being estimated. Further development should be halted until those improvements and are in place and the additional demands are managed. 2. The proposed Transportation Demand Management plans are only projected to decrease demand by 10% over 5 years. (41 cars) while the proposed building will add over 400 cars to already overburdened and dangerous Spring Street traffic. 3. Increased density of development at the site (FAR- Floor area Ratio) will set a precedent for other commercial properties along Hayden Avenue and elsewhere in Lexington. This is a decision that should be reached by town planners after thoughtful consideration of development and planning across Lexington, not on the rushed basis of this application for this specific site. 4. The Preliminary Site Development and Use Plan (PSDUP) favors Corporate interests over Town interests, and needs ample time for review. 5. This PSDUP does not comply with Lexington Zoning Code 135-39 regarding the height of buildings and structures. Table 2 lists the highest commercial building at 3 stories or 45 ft, (whichever is less.) This proposal would allow for a building that is 7+ stories at 57 ft. This would set another reckless precedent. 6. The conditions noted in 135-12, Subsection B-2 which cites the following objectives, cannot be achieved: (g)...Awareness of the existence of a development, particularly nonresidential development...should be minimized by screening views of the development from nearby streets, single family neighborhoods.., and (i) That scale, massing and detailing of buildings are compatible with those prevalent in the surrounding area... 7. Confidence in the conditions of this plan is eroded by the ability of the Beal Companies to initiate changes via the ZBA without notification or input of the neighborhood. This has been demonstrated at a nearby commercial site. 8. Long time residents of the neighborhood remember that the Beal Companies made a promise to the Woodhaven neighborhood upon the building of Ledgemont II, that there would be no further structures built on the site. They also promised to maintain Old Shade Street trail and field at the end of Munroe Ave. These promises have not been kept. 9. There are conditions for Ledgemont II that were never met, nor enforced. i.e. Lights are not shielded from the neighbors and burn all night. The parking deck was not built with the specified materials and planters are not in place. 10. The project is to be built on poorly draining soils and shallow to bedrock areas throughout the site. Because of this, they are unable to attenuate the volume from a 1-year, 24 hour storm event. 11. The construction is located right up to the 50 ft no structure border. Fragile, protected wetlands exist adjacent to and below the elevation of the construction site. Much of the present vegetation at the site exists where the building will be placed, resulting in the loss of at least 35 mature trees. Given these conditions and countless others which have yet to be determined, we hereby request that Town Meeting Members vote NO at the Special Town Meeting on November 17th, 2008, to the Ledgemont III rezoning request.