Planning Board gives update on Rochester Crossing progress

Sep 10, 2019

ROCHESTER — The Planning Board gave a brief update on the Rochester Crossroads development work at a Sept. 10 meeting. 

Town Planner Steven Starrett told board members as part of his update that Steen Realty and Development Corp. had done a lot of work on the planning side of the process. 

Steen Realty is currently working on the plans for a 208 unit housing development under Chapter 40R of state law.

This type of development allows the town more control, counts all the units toward the state-mandated 10 percent affordable housing requirement, even if only a quarter of them will be rented below market rate, and provides some compensation to the schools if students from the development prove a burden. 

Voters at Town Meeting in May approved the project to go on to the Planning Board, where it is now subject to all of the board’s regulations. 

Steen proposed 208 units in four story buildings around a common community space, which would include a pool and community center. There would also be a community garden. 

Part of the development’s appeal to developers also has to do with the fact that it is mixed us for residential and commercial buildings, with a set of commercial buildings next to the housing development. 

However, the Planning Board advised Steen in an informal meeting to just work on the plans for the residential site at first, then treat the commercial development as a separate project. 

That way, if the developer needs to make changes to one part of the development, he won’t have to reopen all parts to scrutiny.