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Planning Board Questions Bertuccio Avenue Development

Safe And Reasonable Access, Neighborhood Disruption Discussed

Neighbors Are United In Opposition

By William Legault


The Planning Board met on Thursday night in order to discuss multiple issues.  We were there and here are the highlights of the meeting.

Six members of the board were present.

Parking Lot At 50 St. Peter Street20160602_192535

This long discussed parking lot, which has been rejected by city boards in the past seems well on the way to approval.

Dave Knowlton, the city engineer described this as the most reviewed parking lot in the the history of the city.  It is currently under review by the Design Review Board (DRB) who have asked for a “meandering walking path,” and trees and shrubs to shield the lot from the street. There are also plans for a parking kiosk.  Eight trees will be removed and new trees will replace them in other locations.  Bike racks will be included and the entire lot will be compliant with the American Disabilities Act (ADA).


The Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites – 19 & 23 Congress Street, 223-231 & 235 Derby Street, parking lot at 13-15 Herbert Street, 25 Peabody Street, and the remaining land of Pickering Wharf Condominium Trust

This proposed development has been in stasis for a variety of legal reasons since it was announced a few years back.

Due to delays in the granting of their Chapter 91 license in accordance with the Massachusetts Waterfront Act, the board granted an extension of their previously issued deadline of 23 July, 2016.  The new deadline is now 23 December, 2016.

14 Bertuccio Avenue

This was a continued public hearing on a request for  a Definitive Subdivision Plan to allow for the construction of an access roadway to seven proposed residential lots and a Stormwater Management Permit.

Ben Osgood of Tti Environmental, Inc spoke for the developer and property owner. He addressed previously expressed concerns of the board in regards to soil type and  stormwate20160602_195148r infiltration, the construction of the stormwaer retention pond, the width of the roadway and sidewalks, and the addition of new catch basins at Bertuccio Avenue and Calabrese Road.  He also presented plans for an additional access road to the retention pond from Francis Road.

Before closing he stated that the aresenic levels in the soil are “not enough to be a concern and do not require reporting to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).”  He also presented a letter from a blasting consultant who has no concerns as to the difficulty or dangers of blasting the ledge that abuts the homes on Francis Road.

Matt Veno of the planning board asked some sharp questions regarding the proximity to both the neighborhood and the Collins Middle School.  He said “It is disruptive to the neighborhood and the school, and not just during construction . My biggest concern is safe and reasonable access to the site.  It feels like we are just jamming this in.”

Ben Anderson, the board chairman expressed strong concern as to the turning radius of fire safety equipment at the entrance to the proposed roadway coming off of Bertuccio Avenue.

The board as a group asked20160602_195155 for more information regarding the design of the proposed homes and the materials that will be used to build them.

Residents who spoke expressed strong concern about the blasting, emergency access, the potential affect on flooding at Jefferson Avenue and Francis Road, and noise and light pollution that will result from the removal of trees along the edge of Bertram Field.

The hearing was continued until 7 July, 2016.


EDITORS NOTE: This article was edited to indicate the approval from the DRB for the St. Peter Street parking lot has yet to be granted.

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