ROCKLAND – A development that will build four homes on a site previously considered “unbuildable” on Concord Street in Rockland has received conditional town water approval but is still awaiting sewer approval.
Developer Lou Petrozzi told a Rockland Zoning Appeals Board meeting last week that he submitted revised plans to the board to address previous concerns about heights and drainage, as well as the town’s peer reviewers for 320 Concord St.
Petrozzi proposed a four-home development under Chapter 40B, which would allow developers to bypass local zoning rules in neighborhoods where less than 10 percent of housing is considered affordable. According to the latest state estimates, 6.4 percent of Rockland’s housing is classified as affordable.
The point of Chapter 40B is to allow developers to bypass restrictive zoning rules in towns and build taller, larger, denser developments to increase the number of units available.
Joseph LaPointe, director of the Abington-Rockland United Water Works, said in a letter that the project received conditional approval at the waterworks’ Jan. 20 meeting.
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The approval comes with one important condition: the system has enough water. Waterworks are conducting supply and demand studies. It has been awarded a $2 million grant to develop previously drilled but mothballed wells. Rockland and Abington will each distribute 80,000 gallons per day. The project is estimated to use 1,320 gallons per day.
The Rockland Fire Department signed off on the plan after adding a fire escape to the development.
He said Petrozzi had recently planned to appear before the Rockland Sewer Board, but the meeting was canceled and moved to April.
The project doesn’t need to give up height — buildings must be shorter than 36 feet — but board members said they wanted the home to be roughly the same height as the sides of the property.
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After a lengthy discussion about how to calculate the height of the proposed home from its neighbors, board members asked Petrozzi to come up with a revised building plan that accurately depicted what the side of the house would look like.
Before Petrozzi bought the property at auction in 2020, the house was part of a protracted legal battle with the town.
Former owner Robert DelPrete built a house on the property in 2010, and his neighbors complained that he shouldn’t have been granted a building permit because, according to Rockland’s zoning regulations, the lot was ” unbuildable”.
The Divisional Appeals Board denied the change request, and DelPrete subsequently sued Rockland in 2012. He lost multiple lawsuits until, in the end, the town owed the house $5,698 in taxes, including fines.
Petrozzi purchased the property for $39,000 and, since he was built under Chapter 40B, is largely exempt from the rules governing the DelPrete development.
See our past coverage of the “unbuildable” lot at 320 Concord Street.
look by youself:View documents filed with the Rockland Divisional Appeals Board
February 1, 2022:Controversial development moves forward on ‘unbuildable’ lot in Rockland
November 21, 2021:Wetlands, Setbacks and Parking Major Issues for 4-house Chapter 40B Projects
November 14, 2021:‘Capacity is a huge issue’: Abington Rockland to spend $2m to dig unused well
May 3, 2021:Rockland house at 320 Concord Street collapses after 11 years, legal battle, auction
March 11, 2021:Developer proposes four homes on ‘unbuildable’ lot for sale at Rockland auction
December 9, 2020:Sell!Rockland Concord Street house sells for $39,000 at auction
November 6, 2020:Go, go, don’t go!320 Concord Street fails to sell at November auction
August 22, 2013:Appeal saves Rockland home from demolition
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Contact reporter Wheeler Cowperthwaite at [email protected].
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