By Ann Needle
Aug. 10, 2022
The Planning Board’s August 2 public hearing on the proposed Cottages at Wandering Pond offered a number of details on the active adult neighborhood off of Athens Street, but also revealed there is still a lot of work to do before any construction begins.
George Dimakarakos of civil engineers Stamski and McNary remarked to Planning Board members and residents at the Zoom hearing, “It’s a very complicated project, so we expect several hearings.” The development is proposed under a special permit, though Dimakarakos pointed out layers of other permits are need, as well.
In his overview of the project, Dimakarakos explained that, as an AAN, the development is not age-restricted, though it would be designed for those over age 55. Each of the 144 units will have two bedrooms, given these will likely not attract families, he said. Legally, 10% of the units must be affordable, and another 5% set aside for middle-income owners, Dimakarakos said.
Located on the former Quirk property, the entrance will be off of Athens Street, which is off of Hudson Road. Dimakarakos mentioned Wandering Pond would have its own wastewater treatment facility, along with several public water supply wells.
Thom Miner, landscape designer with Hawk Design, reported the property’s two neighborhoods — The Greens and The Garden—would be connected mid-way by a wetland area. Plans include a recreation area facing public-access walking trails, a clubhouse, small pool, activity lawn, and a pickleball court.
Inside each unit, Larry Reeves of architect Reeves Design Associates, stressed, “These are aimed at aging in place.” That means primary bedroom suites and some small office spaces on the first floors, along with handicap-accessible entrances. Reeves said units should run from 1500 to 1800 square feet, but can go up to 2500 square feet. All units would meet the latest energy-efficiency standards, he added.
Jeffrey Dirk offered an outline of transportation study results from Vanasse & Associates. The upshot was the project is not expected to increase traffic substantially, perhaps adding up to 7 vehicles at certain times in the queue waiting to turn onto Rt. 117 from Hudson Road.
The Planning Board remarks pointed to several questions on issues ranging from the size of units’ handicap-accessible doors to protection measures for wetland areas. The hearing was continued to October 4. The full application for the development is posted at https://www.stow-ma.gov/planning-board/pages/recent-permit-applications.