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Staff Writer

PEPPERELL — Faced with another requested delay for the Bayberry Road affordable housing complex, the Zoning Board of Appeals set March 27 as the firm date to resume stalled discussions.

Acting for her client, Lowell developer William Krikorian, attorney Melissa Robbins sent a letter asking to postpone a Jan. 30 hearing continuance for Bayberry Estates.

Robbins’ letter stated the developer is waiting to reschedule the public hearing continuance due to delays in “further studies and engineering of the site.”

“We can’t just leave an open extension,” board member Christine Morrissey said at the Jan. 9 meeting of the ZBA. “This was supposed to take place in December, then January. The hearing hasn’t convened since last August.”

At the August hearing, more than 250 residents packed the Senior Center to oppose the project, based on a variety of objections.

A list of residents, allegedly including more than 500 names, objected to limited site distances at the intersection of Heald Street and Bayberry Road, an allegedly shallow traffic study, proximity of driveways to abutter’s land, potential danger to the Heald Pond bridge from heavy construction vehicles, and the credentials of the traffic study contractor.

Citizen interest ran so high that when board Chairman Thomas McGrath asked for a vote of the board, a chorus of “ayes” boomed forth from the audience.

This week the ZBA voted to notify Robbins that a new peer review of the traffic study will be needed by the March 27 meeting. Members also voted to begin a search for their own traffic study engineer.

Actual language of the vote made “March 27 available (to the developer) unless further extended.”

Prior to public hearings, abutters and interested parties must receive notification by certified mail, paid for by the applicant. Morrissey and board member Sherrill Rosoff explained that once the notices for the March meeting are mailed, any delays would require the developer to pay for another mailing.

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