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GROTON — After months of deliberation and review by the town’s numerous land use boards, a light finally appeared at the end of the tunnel for Robert France.

France is developer of the Boynton Meadows subdivision proposed for 134 Main St.

The beginning of the end came Thursday night, Dec. 15, when the Planning Board voted to close the public hearing portion of its special permit review process. The board left for a future meeting discussion of whether to approve the project.

The Boynton Meadows project involves a partnership between a private investor and the town. It is to include three affordable housing units among 18 planned with preliminary plans for a mix of duplexes, triplexes and single-family homes designed along the classic lines of many older buildings in town.

Termination of the public hearing portion of the review process marked the end of possible input on the project by the developer as well as residents. Planning Board members are expected to consider the facts of the plan as well as arguments made against it most notably those presented by its own Design Review Committee.

The DRC made its case before the board Dec. 1 when committee member Timothy Hess listed objections to approval as:

* A lack of future connectivity with adjacent parcels,

* An imbalance in the ratio between residential and commercial space favoring residential,

* Overlarge residential units,

* Lack of a proper civic space,

* Failure to meet cultural core values with respect to the town’s historic, environmental and residential character; all contrary to guidelines governing the town center overlay district.

“The project as currently designed and planned should be turned down,” was the DRC’s conclusion as stated in a report submitted to the board. “The current plan does not sufficiently enhance the overlay district and therefore does not merit the granting of the increased density.”

But at the board’s meeting of Dec. 8, France submitted a rebuttal explaining how the design plan for the project does meet the guidelines.

“We feel that we have complied with the spirit of the guidelines that can practically be applied to Boynton Meadows and we thank all the board members for their contributions to the improvements that have been made through this permitting process,” concluded the statement submitted by France. “We feel that the end results are consistent with the concept represented in the town meeting vote to approve the overlay district.”

Leaving things at that, board members satisfied themselves by pointing out areas of concern they intend to address in upcoming discussions when the review process continues.

Areas of concern include needed assurances that the responsibilities of the condo association are spelled out clearly, snow removal and storage, size of the living units, possible future conversion of second story units in the existing building on Main Street to commercial use and the regular availability of affordable units as construction proceeds.

The board set Dec. 15 as the date to begin deliberation.

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