Updated 40B Plan Gets Approval

After a false start, officials on Thursday night gave Bay Watch Realty Trust the go-ahead on a modified site plan for its Chapter 40B development off of Front Street.

Though the Zoning Board of Appeals initially expressed reluctance at signing off on the modification – which moves an access road to land acquired from the Wave restaurant in order to avoid construction of a bridge over wetlands – representatives from Bay Watch pleaded for action.

“We’d like to get this information to the state as soon as possible to qualify for a tax-credit program,” said Ken Steen of Kenneth Steen Real Estate, responding to discussion among board members about postponing a decision until their Sept. 12 meeting. “We’re really getting tight with that Sept. 12 date, when you have that 20-day appeal period. If there’s any way you could consider the issue tonight, it would be a big help.”

Steen and other Bay Watch representatives pointed out that Marion Town Counsel Jon Witten had vetted the modified site plan. Witten’s OK was included in documents that ZBA members had received just hours before, but after further reading and deliberations, opinions on the new plan were positive.

Between absences and Betsy Dunn’s abstention, only four members voted on the motion to approve the modified site plan, but its passage required only a simple majority, and it passed unanimously. Hurdles remain for Bay Watch in its long race to break ground: A definitive subdivision plan will have to be submitted to officials in the coming months.

By Shawn Badgley


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