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Skyscrapers in Newton?

Posted by Ralph Ranalli April 8, 2007 07:09 AM

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NEWTON

A proposal for a commercial-residential development on Route 9 would alter the city’s zoning code to allow buildings as tall as Boston's Prudential Center, Ward 6 Alderman Kenneth Parker testified at a recent zoning hearing.

Developers of the proposed Chestnut Hill Square, on Route 9, have requested a zoning change for their mixed development that would allow approval of theirs and other large projects with no height restrictions. That’s not a good thing, he said.

“It’s a direct frontal assault on the protections our zoning affords neighborhoods in Newton,” Parker said.

Zoning and Planning Committee chairman Brian Yates, however, called Parker's warning an “exaggeration.”

New England Development spokeswoman Deborah Black, meanwhile, said the developers “are working on some modifications to the proposal, and we’ll be presenting them to the city in the near future to address concerns about height limitations.”

Chestnut Hill Square, situated on 11.5 acres almost directly across Route 9 from the Mall at Chestnut Hill, is currently planned with two 14-story residential towers and another residencial building of six stories, along with a block of two- and three-story retail buildings.

The Prudential Center tower, incidentally, is 52 stories tall.

-- Connie Paige

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