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Developers to tweak 14-unit condo proposal in Watertown

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  January 11, 2013 04:31 PM

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watertown 192 front.jpg

Burkhard Corporation/ci.watertown.ma.us

The front of the proposed three-story residential condominium building at 192 Pleasant St. in Watertown.

Plans to gain city approval to construct a 14-unit condominium development on Pleasant Street in Watertown have been stalled while the developers try to fit the proposed three-story building on the available plot without crossing over into town easements.

Representatives from Acton-based Burkhard Corporation appeared before the Planning Board this week to present their 14-unit condominium proposal at 192 Pleasant St., where a vacant one-story industrial building that formerly housed Bacon Industries currently sits, said Steve Magoon, Watertown's planning director.

The building, which would mainly house one- and two-bedroom units, is requiring extra work by developers because easements lie on each side of the property's lot, making the building's construction a tight fit, Magoon said.

With the Charles River behind the property, builders cannot construct over a city-designated line that keeps structures 50 feet away from conserved wetlands. However, on the other side of the property lies a major sewage line, which builders are prohibited to build over, Magoon said.

"You can't put a building on top of the sewer line, because if we have a problem with it, we would need to have access to it," he said. "That pushes the building to the other side of the property, which makes it challenging to fit it and avoid things like a no-build zone."

Watertown residents also asked developers at the Planning Board meeting to redesign some facets of the proposed building's facade, which currently features some bathroom windows looking over the street, Magoon said.

"Also on the back façade, residents said some of the balconies were scattered around and they felt that it looked haphazard, so they wanted something done about that," he said.

The developer also proposes providing about two dozen parking spaces underneath the building, and is planning to set one unit aside as part of the state-mandated affordable housing law that requires 10 percent of a new residential building be deemed affordable, Magoon said.

The property's lot sits on the Pleasant Street Corridor, which has been traditionally zoned industrial but allows housing with a special permit.

"This has a vacant industrial building on it, so I'm sure some people will see the condos as an improvement," Magoon said.

The developers will appear at the next regularly-scheduled planning meeting on Feb. 13, Magoon said.

watertown 192 back.jpg

Burkhard Corporation/ci.watertown.ma.us

The back facade of the proposed 192 Pleasant St. building features balconies overlooking the Charles River.

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Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com

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