“I felt a full three-story building, especially with a flat roof, would have been out of scale and out of character with the town center,” she said.
Barry Keppard, coordinator for the Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s South Shore subregion, said Norwell’s proposal is in keeping with some of the themes his agency promotes for local development.
He said, for example, the planning council encourages communities to focus development in their existing centers, and to diversify their housing stock, goals that are both reflected in the Norwell plan.
The Norwell plan also fits with the council goal to “decrease the amount of time people have to drive” to obtain goods and services in their community, Keppard said.
Di Iorio said that the proposed zoning changes, alone, will not be enough to fully energize the center, but “it’s a start.”
He said the town will still need to address dimensional rules and undertake much-needed streetscape and roadway improvements
“We have sidewalks that are not connected, or are lacking in a lot of areas,” he said. “There are hardly any benches. . . . The roadway is wide and traffic goes through there very quickly. It’s just not an inviting place to walk.”
John Laidler can be reached at email@example.com.