PREVIEW OF CPDC PUBLIC MEETING ON Monday 9/12/2022 AT 7:30 PM AT SELECT BOARD MEETING ROOM – TOWN HALL – OAKLAND RD PUBLIC MEETING and 459 MAIN STREET HEARING
The Community Planning & Development Commission (CPDC) is holding a public meeting on Monday 9/12/2022 at 7:30 pm at the Town Hall, and the primary focus of this meeting will be the proposed Oakland Rd Affordable Housing project. In addition, they will be continuing the public hearing on the 40R site plan for 459 Main Street (128 Tire). The owners of 25 Haven St (the old Rite Aid building) were also scheduled for their 40R Plan review but at their request, it was continued until October 17th.
The summary presentation in the packet, which is included below, is very similar to the prior Oakland Rd meeting at RMHS a couple months back as well as a previous Select Board meeting. This is a Hybrid Meeting, the Commission and the Public is welcome to attend in the Select Board Meeting Room at Reading Town Hall or through remote participation by the Zoom Meeting information https://us06web.zoom.us/j/82392810743
Town Manager, Fidel Maltez, is scheduled to give the commission an overview of the project. Katie Gallant, of the Reading Housing Authority, will be giving an overview of the affordable housing needs in Reading. Ms. Gallant mentioned at the prior Oakland Rd public forum, that the current wait-list for affordable housing in Reading is multiple years long. Jen Hocherman from SV Design in Beverly, will be going over the proposed project and taking questions and answers at the end.
This particular project has numerous residents with multiple ideas for the land at Oakland Rd as well as those with serious safety concerns over the existing traffic in the area and the influx any project will cause. What was echoed during the prior meeting was the need, want, and desire in Reading for affordable housing for seniors and low-income families but not at this location. Others feel it’s the perfect location for the two projects and the town should finally do something with the land. The town has owned the property for over 90 years when it was taken by tax title and then ultimately turned over to the Select Board. The discussion about Oakland Rd this time around was due to an instructional motion to the Select Board, raised at April’s Town Meeting, by former Select Board member Barry Berman. Mr. Berman spoke about the need to do something with the Affordable Housing Trust Fund that was simply a formality on the town warrant since its inception years ago.
We at the Reading Recap decided to go to 0 Oakland Rd ourselves and have a look at the property from the air as well as into the wooded property. From steep drop offs, to mattresses and desks, Oakland Rd had it all. Below are the two videos of the area for you to have a look at yourselves what the terrain looks like and a general overview of the area. One thing to note is this footage was shot prior to school starting on August 31st and the traffic patterns there during the day are significantly different.