P&Z WATCH: Mason St Apartment Building Could Be “A Pretty Good Fit”

Toward the end of Thursday’s Planning & Zoning commission seven-hour meeting, there was discussion of a pre-application to redevelop 103 Mason Street, the former home of Computer SuperCenter and Lighthouse Technology Partners.

The lot is nearly a half-acre in the CGB zone.

The proposal is to demolish the existing building, originally built in 1960 as a bank, and construct a seven-unit apartment building.

The application is being submitted under the town’s 6-110 regulation, which gives a incentive for a .75 FAR and a height of 45 ft.

In exchange one of the two-bedroom apartments would be affordable.

There would be two 2-bedroom apartments, one of which would be dedicated as affordable housing, plus five 3-bedroom apartments – for a total of 19 bedrooms.

The existing building is 7,036 sq ft and the proposed would be 15,369 sq ft.

“My first reaction is this seems like a pretty good fit,” said P&Z commission chair Margarita Alban said. “And a pretty good scale.”

The applicant proposed 10 surface parking spaces and 14 underground spaces plus storage, but the commission suggested that might be overparked. If three spaces were removed, it might be possible preserve green space on Lewis Street.

Architect Rudy Ridberg said because there will be residential units with patios the ground floor, they propose a low wall with a fence on top of it.

Commissioner Nick Macri said that fence/wall combination might disrupt the continuity along Mason Street.

“It kind of changes the whole dynamic of what’s happening out there,” he said. “That would be a priority of mine.”

The architect said they were considering a stone facade and wood shingle on the third floor.

Ms Alban said the trend  in the downtown neighborhood had been for a “farmhouse” look, and a change would be welcome.

“I liked the first thousand of them,” she said. “It’s a nice look, but it’s getting old really fast.”

Other feedback from the commission touched on adding landscaping, pervious surfaces, and good drainage.

The proposal is in the pre-application discussion phase.

No one from the public made any comments.

Diagram shows patios proposed on Lewis Street and Mason Street.