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50-Townhouse ‘Promenade At Somerset’ Site Plan Approved By Zoning Board

Architect Dan Simon points out features of the proposed townhouse development to Zoning Board members.

A 50-unit townhouse development targeted for a Cedar Grove Lane tract received final site plan approval February 20 from the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

The project, known as Promenade at Somerset, received a use variance from the board last year.

The project is slated for an 11-acre tract on Cedar Grove Lane between Pierce Street and Easton Avenue.

The development will contain 40 market-rate townhouses and 10 units targeted for low- and moderate-income buyers in nine buildings.

There will be four market-rate two-bedroom units and 36 market-rate three-bedroom units, and eight low- and moderate-income two-bedroom units and two low- and moderate-income three-bedroom units, said Scott Turner, the project’s engineer.

The affordable units will be interspersed with the market-rate units, he said.

All of the units will have one car garages, he said.

Most of the units will be built on concrete slabs and come with 10×18-foot patios, said Dan Simon, the project’s architect. One building, housing five units, will have basements and will come with 10×18 decks, he said.

The affordable units were originally to come with one bathroom, with a second bathroom as an up sell option, but board member Robert Shepherd objected to that, saying affordable units should have two bathrooms.

“Since there’s not that many and we granted a rather unusual use variance for this application, this should be something that should be included,” Shepherd said of the second bathroom.

John Wisniewski, the applicant’s attorney, said his client would agree to do that.

Another change in the project involved a planned dog park, play area and community garden.

The 6,000-square-foot dog park was originally targeted for an area near a single-family home. Board chairman Robert Thomas said that he liked the idea of a dog park, but he did not like that location.

“If you moved into that house, and all of a sudden we put a dog park in there, I think that raises some issues of fairness,” he said.

A 6,700-square-foot play area and 5,000-square-foot community garden were planned for an area on the opposite side of the development. Turner said it would be possible to move the dog park to another part of the development – away from houses – and match it with the play area.

The dog park, Turner said, “seems to be something people like to have in their community.”

“We’re trying to figure out and implement types of recreation that people will actually use,” Turner said. “People like the dog parks and community gardens.”

There will also be 79 off-street parking spaces distributed throughout teh development, Turner said.

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