, Newburyport, MA

Local News

November 8, 2013

10 years later, a decision arrives

Planning Board signs off on Bailey's Pond project

AMESBURY — In a decision 10 years in the making, the Planning Board voted unanimously on Monday night to approve the Bailey’s Pond residential development project.

“It’s a huge relief,” said Planning Board member Karen Solstad. “It’s a big, huge project and I think it’s a project that will have a huge impact on the town moving forward.”

The Bailey’s Pond plan calls for the construction of a multi-family residential development around a city-owned piece of land between Interstate 495, Route 150 and the Merrimack River. Fafard Real Estate has held a purchase-and-sale agreement for the 24.5-acre property since 2003, but the plan was repeatedly caught up in delays over the past decade.

When completed, the development will include two major residential pods. The small development will consist of nine buildings for a total of 36 units between Bailey’s Pond and Summit Avenue, and the larger development will consist of 20 buildings for a total of 100 units to the southeast of the pond, north of Route 150 and east of Summit Avenue.

Access to the small pod will be from Summit Avenue about 900 feet north of the intersection with Route 150, and access to the large pod will be on Route 150 about 600 feet east of the Summit Avenue intersection. There will also be an emergency access from Beacon Street.

The Route 150 access will require a curb-cut permit from the Mass. Department of Transportation, and additional work may need to be done on the surrounding roads as well. Services for the development, including trash, recycling and snow removal, will be handled by private service providers, not the city.

The Planning Board noted many issues with the proposed plan, including a flawed parking layout, buildings that don’t fit the character of the neighborhood and minimal on-site recreational amenities. As a result, the board’s approval was contingent on dozens of conditions listed in a 32-page document.

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