A proposal to re-zone a portion of the lot at 107 Hancock St. from Residence B to General Business hit a snag earlier this week when town officials, responding to concerns from nearby residents, urged the owner to return next month with a revised plan.
The property – formerly a fruit market and other businesses and now sitting unused across from Braintree Lumber – is split between the two zoning types and needs the change to host a viable business in the future, attorney Carl Johnson said.
"This is an opportunity to create some jobs," he said.
His client, Hancock Realty Trust, which benefits the Patavina family, has no immediate plans for development of the site, Johnson said.
Residents of nearby Frederick Road, however, shared their concerns with members of the Planning Board Tuesday night based on potential development. They said that traffic is already heavy on their street, that the neighborhood is mostly residential and that another business close to their homes could mean more noise and possibly lower real estate values.
"It's an exaggeration that it's a business corridor," Lou Iordanov, who lives at 16 Frederick Rd., said.
John DiVincenzo, of 10 Frederick Rd., said that his road is a long-neglected cut-through that does not need additional traffic. He also said adding another business could affect his property value.
Because the land is currently empty, filled mostly with overgrowth and some trees, any new construction over 500 square feet would require a site plan review by the Planning Board, and also a special permit, depending on use type, Principal Planner Melissa Santucci said.
Johnson disputed that the area is mostly residential and laid out a long history of business use at the site. He added that any development would be done according to the newest building standards and that there would be ample open space.
"It can be done sensitively," Johnson said.
Member James Eng, responding to the neighbors' concerns about proximity and to an oddly-shaped layout, suggested the owner come back with a plan that only re-zones the main body of the lot and leaves a small portion jutting toward Frederick Road as Residence B.
Johnson and his client agreed to return Jan. 8 with a revised request.
Santucci and Johnson pointed out, however, that by leaving that portion of the lot out of the re-zone, it may be purchased or developed separately. As part of a future site plan review, officials could put conditions on the segment such as keeping it open space and maintenance requirements if it were re-zoned General Business.