Retirement Residence at Legacy Farms Reviewed

courtney's picture

The Planning Board met with Land Use Manager Mark Lowen, attorney Craig Ciechanowski and Engineer Justin Dufresne during their January 27 meeting to discuss a retirement residence at Legacy Farms and a request for reduced parking. The discussion is ongoing and so no vote has been taken on the project.

The proposed retirement residence will be in the Legacy Farms development along East Main Street and Clinton Street, abutting some wetlands. The site includes 127 apartments for seniors in one building with a common dining room and other gathering areas such as a small gym and a chapel. Walking paths, a garden area, recreational areas and parking would surround the building. Residents would receive three meals a day, and linen services and shuttle services would be provided when needed. The site will share an driveway with the retail site next to it which has yet to be developed. The traffic impact is expected to be low because many seniors at the residence will not have cars or be traveling during peak hours.

The desire for a sidewalk along East Main Street was expressed by the townspeople in the recent sidewalk survey, but in order to create the sidewalk wetlands would need to be filled in, which Lowen was hesitant to do. One suggested compromise was that an easement could be granted by the town to put in a sidewalk when it is felt that one is needed at the site. Another compromise suggested by resident Mavis O’Leary was to install a sidewalk along the front of the property while providing seniors a safe place to stand while waiting for a bus or other public transportation.

One resident was concerned with the reduced number of parking spaces, saying that although the residents will be retired, not all retirees are ready to give up their car. However, in similar residences built by Lenity Architecture, the company developing the project, only about 20% of the residents bring a car, and most do not have a car six to eighteen months after moving in because of the shuttle service. An added benefit of having reduced parking spaces will be having less impervious surface and more open space on site.

“Considering they did 300 previous builds and have the data to back it up, I’m okay,” said Planning Board Vice-Chairman John Coutinho when asked if any Board members had an issue with the reduced parking.

Because the building takes up more than 35% of the site, approval is needed from the Board of Appeals to complete the project. However, the discussion with the Planning Board is ongoing and will be continued to their February 10 meeting.