The Westwood Planning Board meeting opened up last night with New England Development and David Manfredi of Elkus-Manfredi Architects unveiling a revised conceptual site plan for University Station.
Still just a conceptual site plan, meaning all the specifics haven’t been formulated yet and that much more information is being put together and will be available in a few weeks, Manfredi led most of the presentation and explained where they expect different things to be in the development. He did note that the exact sizes of some of the buildings hadn’t been determined, and that for certain things, such as residential units or parking spaces, they haven’t determined an exact number or how large they will be. But they have a good idea of where things will be, he said, as he pointed them out on his presentation board.
“Forget about buildings,” the Boston architect said. “Think spaces and connections.”
One of the things that was changed from the meeting on August 28, was the way pedestrians and vehicles can move around and connect. This was something that some members of the Planning Board asked questions about in order to be clear.
Vice-Chairman Steven Olanoff asked about the proposed entrance to the train station, which appeared to be a long walk from where people were able to park. He stated that he believes many people drive to the train station, so this seemed to bother him.
New England Development CEO Steve Karp responded by explaining that the state has some things they’re planning, so they have to wait until the state makes a decision on what they’re doing before they can make changes.
“I want everyone to understand the Planning Board is seeing this for the first time as well, so it’s a very conceptual plan,” Planning Board member Steven Rafsky said. “My reaction is this gives us the basis to move forward.”
“I appreciate all the changes that have been made,” added Town Planner Nora Loughnane.
The Board opened up the floor to questions from residents, and there were several. Among those questions that were asked was how many parking spaces will there be at University Station? (approximately 5,000, but the details haven’t been completed on that yet). Have there been any noise studies done yet? (no, but they will be done). What are the heights of the different buildings? (3-4 stories, but they’re not sure which yet. They said more information will come at a later date)
Some upcoming dates for people to know about related to the University Station Development Plan:
On October 2, the Planning Board will be reviewing the zoning bylaw. This is something that will wind up being voted on at Town Meeting.
On October 9, the Planning Board will be receiving the full submittal for the University Station plan.
On October 16, there will be a large presentation of the University Station plan before all the Boards in town at the Middle School cafeteria.