ABOUT TOWN: Are There Plans to Develop the Eyesore on Lambert Ave. in Stoughton?
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THE EYESORE ON LAMBERT AVENUE: Sherry Radbil, who grew up on McGarvey Road, and whose parents have lived there since 1961, wrote a note to About Town regarding a scheduled Stoughton Zoning Board of Appeals hearing Sept. 20 regarding the abandoned building located at 75 Lambert Avenue, adjacent to the Stoughton Senior Center and Youth Commission building.
After previously housing Donahue Trucking, will the now vacant property be used as a garage/storage space and bring trucks back to this residential neighborhood?
Neighbors came out to a ZBA meeting on Aug. 16, to respond to a proposal for a development of the dilapidated property. Neighbors were shocked the night of the meeting to find that the article was withdrawn from the agenda, with no prior notice given to abutters of the property.
Radbil said that "the residents of the area are strongly opposed to the town allowing not just a business, but a business that will bring noise and pollutants into the neighborhood. Further, the structure is located adjacent to the senior center/youth commission building. The increased traffic of trucks and construction vehicles will pose a danger to the entire area, including the many seniors and youth who frequent that location.
"The people on Lambert, Rockland, and McGarvey Road have been subjected to the detrimental effects of the trucks at the garage on that site for years, including noise, traffic on narrow side streets, and the odor of diesel fumes."
The proposal for a special permit for 75 Lambert Ave. was by David Krivelow, who is represented by attorney Steve Delamere. The relief requested is listed as "Wholesale,Transportation and Industrial Item #13, Open Storage of raw material, etc."
Krivelow was listed as the owner of Resource Project Group at 120 York St. in Randolph. It is listed under "wrecking and demolition work" on Google. I tried to contact the company, but the phone was disconnected. I then dialed David, who is listed as a resident of Eagle Rock Road, and was unable to reach him. I contacted Delamere last week and requested to speak with Krivelow about his plans. I have not heard from him.
Delamere told me that an application was filed and that it was for an office space "where trucks come and go. Hard materials may be stored there, but not waste or trash."
Delamere pointed out that the property was an eyesore, and that Krivelow was planning on building something that would look good, and would not disrupt the neighborhood any more than the previous occupant did.
But Brian Cuddy and his Rockland Street family, and many other abutters strongly disagree.
This Lambert Ave. property and the senior center are the only non-residential properties in this particular neighborhood, which is located off Lincoln Street, not far from Shaw's Supermarket plaza. I have written about this closed-up garage before. It is a KEY piece of ever expanding the senior center and youth commission building!
If the town could purchase this property, they could expand the building and build additional parking. If you've ever been to an event there, parking IS limited. The town should shield this property from development, and work to take it via eminent domain or direct purchase.
There was an article on the 2011 Annual Town Meeting warrant to purchase the property, but it was dismissed.
John Blanchard, an abutter from Rockland Street, wrote to the Board of Selectmen on Aug. 20:
"I am writing you in regards to the special permit that has been filed under the Town of Stoughton By-Law of 1970, as amended, Section V, D, Table of use Regulations, Principle Uses, Wholesale, Transportation and Industrial, Item # 13, in order to have open storage of raw materials, finished goods or construction equipment and structures for storing such equipment as well as an office and storage of equipment for a demolition business to be located at 75 Lambert Ave. I would like to go on record as a resident of Stoughton and as a owner of property on Rockland Street that I am very much opposed to the use of that property in this manner.
"This is a residential neighborhood with many young families with little children that would be placed in harms way, not only with the increased traffic and heavy equipment moving through the neighborhood, but also with the storage of demolition materials that could (and probably will) contain hazardous waste. Additionally the property values of the families that reside in this neighborhood will be greatly decreased causing the hard working Stoughton residents of this neighborhood to lose much of the investments they have made in their homes. Please do not let this Special Permit be issued for such a purpose."
Stoughton Board of Selectman Chairman John Stagnone, writing as a private citizen, agreed, responding in part:
"The Board of Selectmen has been working with the Planning Board and the Redevelopment Authority on a Master Plan for the whole town. This type of use is not something that is desirable to have in what is largely a residential neighborhood. The previous business there, Donahue Trucking, had numerous complaints, and was a source of a lot of headaches for the neighborhood.
"The Building Commissioner states that by granting the Special Permit is a way to eliminate an eyesore. I do not see this being the basis for granting a Special Permit, there are other ways the town could and should pursue conditions on this site. I would ask the Zoning Board to deny the Special Permit requested, as it would be detrimental to the neighborhood and all the Master Plan Committee time to finish its work as rezoning this property may be a future recommendation."
Thomas McGrath, Stoughton's Building Commissioner, wrote in a letter that "the lot is approximately 1.2 acres, and a large portion (30,918 s.f.) of it is zoned General Business and the remainder is zoned RC, along with the rest of the neighborhood.
"Kirvelow's intended use is allowable in the GB zone with a Special Permit from the ZBA. While residential use is what one would expect there, and what one would want to encourage, that is not allowed under the current zoning. I think this zoning classification is what caused the present situation of a non-occupied eyesore in a nice neighbrohood, remaining that way for way too long."
As for the past use of the property, McGrath wrote, "Historically, Donahue Trucking operated out of this location and, judging by our files, was the source of a lot of headaches for the neighborhood going back to the early 70's." I am still waiting to hear from Krivelow, the proposed developer, or hear further comment from Attorney Delamere. When I do, I will update this story. But, as I currently understand it, no good reasons have been furnished to allow the development, as proposed, to go through.
In addition, the current owner of the building should be forced, by law, to demolish it as a health risk, to residents and public safety officers.
The town should again explore taking it by eminent domain or by purchase for future uses by our seniors and/or youth.
Go to the ZBA hearing Sept. 20 at 7:30 p.m. to voice YOUR opinion on the matter (if they actually DO hear it.)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY: to Stoughton native Frederick Levy, author of a number of books, has a birthday today. The USC grad lives in L.A.; to Patti Casserly, a real estate agent with Century 21; And, to Lee Ann Wilber, the manager of the Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast Museum in Fall River.