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Board to consider Rte. 20 housing plans in Marlborough

August 8, 2011 – The Urban Affairs Committee will consider a developer’s request next month for a special permit to build 290 apartments in five buildings along Rte. 20.

On Monday, the City Council sent the proposal for the project, called Beacon at 495, to the committee, which will hold a public hearing on the application Sept. 26.

Building Commissioner Stephen Reid said yesterday that the idea of a housing development between Rte. 20, Glen Street and Ames Street has come up often since the mid-1980s, when Metropolitan Life owned the property.

Current plans, proposed by Marlborough/Northborough Land Realty Trust, call for five buildings and a recreational clubhouse on part of the property between Boston Post Road and Glen Street, from the 99 Restaurant to Wendy’s. On Glen Street, the development would run from behind the 99 Restaurant to where Glen Street crosses Ripley Avenue.

Marlborough/Northborough Land Realty Trust is associated with The Gutierrez Company, a real estate developer based in Burlington.

Reid said the housing project is one of several intended for that stretch of land, which ranges as far west as Ames Street.

Gutierrez submitted plans in 2008 calling for a housing project on the land, as well as an office and stores. The plans came under fire from neighbors in the Glenbrook area who worried about flooding and increased traffic.

The Gutierrez Company agent handling the current proposal was not available for comment last week.

Reid said the plans may alleviate some of the concerns neighbors have had with previous proposals for the property, including significant grading work and off-site work in the Richer School and Glenbrook areas.

“I’ve heard the cost of improvements to be in the millions,” he said. “That may take off the curse of objections from the residents.”

But Reid also said he expects the project to still invite much debate when it comes up at next month’s public hearing.

This story originally appeared here