Plans for a 48-unit development in Marion inch forward

Sep 8, 2021

MARION — One of the barriers to a 48-unit townhouse project on Route 6 may soon come down.

The Marion Select Board agreed on Sept. 8 to add a zoning change at 78 Wareham Road to the October Town Meeting warrant.

The zoning change would allow a higher density of housing to be built on the property.

While approval of the zoning change at Town Meeting would technically allow up to 12 units per acre on the property, developers have already signed and submitted a deed restriction, which would cap potential building at 48 units — just under two per acre.

The project is subject to a few other significant checkpoints that developers Matt Zuker and Armando Petruzziello will have to pass.

First, the zoning change will have to be approved by the Planning Board, ahead of the closing of Marion’s Town Meeting Warrant later this month. Then, the developers will have to commit to the contribution of water and sewer infrastructure for the project. To start that process, the developers have paid $50,000 to have the town conduct a study to see how much infrastructure is needed for the project.

“It looks good so far,” Select Board Norm Hills said. He added that the developers would likely have to alter two dead ends shown in current plans for the property to allow access for emergency vehicles, but added that the changes would likely occur further along in the planning process.

Select Board member Randy Parker wondered what would become of the already existing house on the property, and what the expected construction timeline would be.

Zuker said plans for the existing house are up in the air, and construction would likely take three years.

“It would be great to make that the amenities building and move it, but we’re not sure,” he said. “It may have to come down.”

While the zoning change has been added to the draft warrant, its appearance at Town Meeting is not yet official. The Select Board still needs to approve the Town Meeting Warrant, and voters would have to choose to allow the zoning change. After that, the project has a long way to go before it can break ground.

“I don’t want people to somehow think we’re approving the project,” Select Board Member John Waterman said, by adding it to the Town Meeting warrant.