Apartment units proposed on parcel adjacent to Daynard Drive in Canton
By John Fitts
CANTON – On July 20, the Canton Planning and Zoning Commission will hold a public hearing related to a 30-unit apartment development proposed on a Route 44 parcel just west of Daynard Drive.
Landscape Architect Robert C. Schechinger, Jr. has recently filed an application, on behalf of 401 Albany Turnpike, LLC., for two, three-story buildings on the property, with a central connector building, complete with elevator to tie the two together, according to the application. The narrative for the project notes that, as proposed, all would be 2-bedroom units, with 18 having 1,000 square feet and one bath, with the balance being slightly larger at 1,200 square feet with 2 baths. There would be a total of 19 garage spaces and 34 ground parking spaces.
An alternate option would involve 32 units – 14, 1 bedroom and 18, 2-bedroom.
The Mount Laurel Apartments, as dubbed on the plans, would involve a total of nearly 40,000 square feet, with a building footprint of 15,622 square feet, according to the application.
As proposed the buildings would have vinyl clapboard and shake siding, PVC and vinyl trim and architecture asphalt roof shingles.
Through 2018 the property was in the town’s business zone and previous plans for the site have included proposed commercial uses stemming from a 2004 approval for uses such as retail, personal service, banks offices and drive-thru facilities. Commercial development plans in recent years have generated fierce neighborhood opposition.
The property now sits in the Hart’s Corner Design Village District under Canton’s formed-based code, which is designed to establish clear standards for development and “places greatest emphasis on the design, or physical form, over density and uses, as it is of greatest importance when creating the pedestrian-oriented places that attract jobs and economic vitality.”
“During this process, it was understood and recognized that the Route 44 Corridor is the economic spine the community relies on for a variety of reasons including tax positive grand list growth to support community services,” Neil S. Pade, Canton’s director of Planning and Development wrote in a staff report for the meeting. “Many sites, including this one, were identified as being 'Opportunity Locations' in that they are intended to be developed to provide meaningful contribution to the grand list. At the same time, it was recognized that the commercial corridor is narrow and numerous single-family neighborhoods are located in close proximity to or adjacent to it. It was also identified that customary transitional uses were not allowed. The resultant regulations were developed and adopted allowing a range of uses as of right (subject to compliance with numerous standards). In addition to traditional commercial uses, a variety of residential uses and densities including mixed uses, are now allowed. It was anticipated that, in recognition of the current deficiency in housing options, the market would gravitate to multi-family uses in areas where residential uses are more context appropriate and serve as a transition between the commercial corridor and adjacent single-family neighborhoods.”
Under those regulations, much of the application review is administrative in nature, requiring an applicant to meet the guidelines and site plans requirements.
This project, however, involves a special permit for Earthwork and Grading, triggering a public hearing. The project proposed an export of 9,300 cubic yards of material and import of 2,000 cubic yards.
The applicant is also seeking some landscape variances, as well as a few others.
The property at 401 Albany is currently owned by Canton Commercial Properties. Arthur Godbout Jr. is listed as principal for the company. According to the application, 401 Albany LLC, which lists William LaPlante as its managing member, has an option on the property.
The application asserts that the project fits with the town’s Comprehensive Plan of Development.
“The multi-family use is consistent with the Town’s Village District Form Base Code and Plan of Conservation and Development as a desired transitional use between the single-family subdivision to the north and the Rt. 44 Mixed-Use / Commercial corridor. A similar multi-family project was also recently approved for the corner property directly across Daynard Drive from our parcel along Albany Turnpike,” according to the application. (The reference to the other approval is for a planned 5-unit single family townhouse project at 375 Albany Turnpike).
The meeting takes place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 20 at the Canton Community Center, 40 Dyer Ave. It can also be accessed remotely. See details at https://townofcantonct.org/filestorage/6662/17720/17722/53096/07-20-22_PZC_RM_Agenda.pdf
More about the project can be seen in the meeting packet at https://www.dropbox.com/sh/wwx7l8ce81bj59u/AAA2uWjD0D2iTmtN-zIBHvKya?dl=0
Below are some of the maps and renderings included with the application.