1. What is the North Carver Project?
Summary – The North Carver Project is a proposed state-of-the-art warehouse facility to be located on 245 acres of property off Montello Street in North Carver.
Details - The North Carver Project is a brownfield revitalization plan that will allow the Town to consider development of a state-of-the-art warehouse/distribution facility on a blighted and distressed property that has sat idle or underutilized for years, with the new redevelopment opportunity generating economic development, jobs and tax revenue opportunities for the town and surrounding areas.
In order to allow the most beneficial use of the property, proposed zoning and general bylaws needed to be amended at Town Meeting on April 12, 2022 (https://www.carverrda.info/faqs-vote). Since the amendments are approved at Town Meeting, the Town will be now able to consider a redevelopment proposal at the site but approval of the project will require a rigorous state and local review process, independent peer review of the project by professionals chosen by the Town, public hearings and multiple votes by Town Boards.
There is currently a preliminary proposal from Hillwood to develop a 1.8M sq. ft. state-of-the-art warehouse and distribution facility consistent with the Urban Renewal Plan and Green Business Park zoning. For more information about Hillwood click HERE.
2. What is the Urban Renewal Plan?
Summary – The Urban Renewal Plan (URP*) was proposed and approved by Town residents beginning in 2015 in order to best develop underutilized commercial properties in Carver.
Details - The Town of Carver began the process of creating a Renewal Plan in 2015 to encourage the revitalization of the blighted and distressed area (including the former Route 44 Sand & Gravel operation). The plan was designed to encourage private investment by capitalizing on this strategic location for long-term economic development opportunities. The Town envisioned the private redevelopment of the area for modern, attractive, and sustainable facilities for warehousing and distribution, light manufacturing and office uses, as well as future commercial and retail development consistent with the current Green Business Park zoning. The North Carver Project is a result of these efforts.
*The URP was approved by the Board of Selectmen after a public hearing held on January 5, 2017, and was preceded by multiple public meetings, hearings and other outreach before the Carver Redevelopment Authority and Planning Board.
3. What properties will be impacted by the zoning amendments?
Summary – The North Carver Project is located in the northwest corner of Carver, behind the Silo Marketplace (Aubuchon Hardware.)
Details - The North Carver Project comprises approximately 14 former parcels totaling 301 acres located in the northwest corner of Carver. The site is bounded by the Town of Plympton on the north, the Town of Middleborough on the west, Rt. 44 to the south, and Rt. 58 and Montello St. to the east. The designated “brownfield” site includes the “Whitworth Property,” as well as properties that have historically been used for sand and gravel operations, a former town dump, a stump dump, a septage dump, concrete manufacturing, and other uses.
4. Who has proposed these zoning amendments?
Summary - The Carver Planning Board, in conjunction with the Carver Redevelopment Authority (RDA), was the sponsor of the Articles on the Town Meeting Warrant.
Details - The Carver Planning Board and the Carver Redevelopment Authority (RDA)* sponsored zoning and general bylaw amendments to encourage private investment, beneficial economic development activity and revitalization of blighted and underutilized properties located between Routes 44 and 58. These zoning changes are a key part of a strategic planning process begun over 20-years ago.
These amendments (https://www.carverrda.info/faqs-vote) will encourage private investment, attract quality users, maximize community benefits and are vital to the revitalization of this long-blighted area.
Town Meeting voted on these zoning amendments on April 12, 2022.
*The Carver Redevelopment Authority (RDA) is an elected board of Carver residents who are charged with promoting smart economic development and revitalization projects in the best interests of Town residents. Route 44 Development (Rt. 44), the current landowners, join the Town of Carver in support of the project. The RDA and Rt. 44 entered into a development agreement to redevelop the property in accordance with the Urban Renewal Plan.
5. Why is the land being redeveloped?
Summary – To take advantage of a large parcel of commercially-zoned land unavailable elsewhere in Southeastern Massachusetts.
Details - The site has been identified by the Town as blighted and underutilized and has been designated by the Town as a preferred site for revitalization and economic development. The site includes a depleted sand and gravel operation and has historically been used as a stump dump, wood waste landfill, septage disposal area and a depository of debris removed from Boston’s “Big Dig” project.
A MEPA (Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act) review determined that the 301-acre* urban renewal site is suitable for 1.8 million square feet of enclosed space, based on many factors including space, environment, traffic, and infrastructure. This proposal (and any other) must be designed to make the most beneficial use of the allowable space to the Town.
*245 acres are included in the current proposed development.
8. What public meetings, hearings or reviews have already happened?
Summary - There have been many public meetings and hearings regarding this project involving the Planning Board, the Redevelopment Authority, Conservation Commission and others– and they continue to this day.
Details - There has been an extensive public dialogue concerning this problematic area since initial work on the 2001 Master Plan* over 20 years ago. The CRA began an ongoing series of meetings focusing on this issue in 2015 which included public hearings, joint meetings with the Selectmen, extensive public input and votes approving the redevelopment plan by both the Selectmen and the CRA. It is very important to remember that the passage of these zoning and other amendments does not mean a project is a done deal. Approval of the amendments simply allowed the developer to propose a project to the Town for review and multiple approvals. Before any project can become a reality, there will be even more extensive public meetings, reviews and hearings as the project must go through a rigorous federal, state and local review process.
*The Town’s 2001 Master Plan, “the Town identified the Route 44 Corridor as one of seven priority areas for economic development. The Plan indicated that the area along Route 44 is a viable site for warehouse wholesale distribution because of its convenient access to the regional highway network. The Master Plan recommended that the Town establish and adopt an economic development strategy for the Route 44 Corridor targeting commercial properties in the area.”
9. If approved, who would be the tenant?
Summary - The tenant is not known at this time.
Details - The proposed zoning amendments related only to site use. It is too early in the process for a tenant to declare an interest. The approval of the proposed amendments at the Annual Town Meeting specifically determined what type of use and structures can be proposed on the site. The developer cannot market the facility to potential tenants until the proposed zoning and other amendments are approved. There is still an extensive local, state and federal review and approval process before any project can move forward to construction.
10. How will truck traffic be managed on Route 58 through Carver?
Summary – The developer and end user will need to provide a traffic mitigation plan during the Special Permit process. Amending the Zoning Bylaw will not affect the amount of traffic generated by the project (https://www.carverrda.info/faqs-vote).
Details – Route 58 is a state highway, and as such cannot be restricted as to travel either by type of vehicle or time of day. It will be incumbent upon the developer/tenant to reach agreements or enforce regulations with their trucking companies regarding travel routes, and those agreements will need to be included in the Special Permit process that will occur before the project is approved. A tenant with its own fleet of vehicles will have more power to enforce directives. Projected traffic data, as developed by the Institute of Traffic Engineers (ITE), show that the impact on traffic will be the same regardless of the height of the structure.
11. What does the project consist of?
Summary – Two distribution warehouses and associated parking areas.
Details - Two buildings, one at 1.2 million square feet and a second one at 600,000 square feet. A water tower is also proposed to provide water to the facility for fire suppression and for the benefit of the North Carver Water District public infrastructure that serves the Town.
A MEPA (Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act) study determined that the 301 acre site is suitable for 1.8 million square feet of enclosed space, based on many factors including space, environment, traffic, and infrastructure. This proposal (and any other) must be designed to make the most use of the allowable space. The water tower will most likely be town-owned and will draw water from the North Carver Water District. It will provide water not only for the new facility but will tie into the current North Carver water lines and provide improved water pressure and added reliability for Carver customers.
* These answers are provided by the Carver ReDevelopment Authority as of 5/22/21
6. What does a YES vote mean?
Summary – A “Yes” vote allowed for a state-of-the-art facility which will provide the greatest benefits for the Town of Carver.
Details - A “yes” vote was the culmination of a decades long and careful planning process targeting the cleanup and revitalization of this area. The amendments are designed to update the Green Business Park area, allowing it to encourage investment for Modern Class A facilities that will attract best in class tenants, better jobs, and higher quality investments in our community.
It is very important to remember that the passage of these zoning and other amendments do not mean a project is a done deal. Approval of the amendments will simply allow the developer to propose a project to the Town for review and multiple approvals. Before any project can become a reality, there will be even more extensive public meetings, reviews and hearings as the project must go through a rigorous federal, state and local review process (https://www.carverrda.info/faqs-vote).
Since approved, the Town will now be able to consider the proposal for the area with a focus on maximizing community benefits, preserving community character, and generating sustainable jobs and commercial tax revenue.
7. What does a NO vote mean?
Summary – A “no” vote would have only limited the development of the area to projects that comply with bylaws currently in effect.
Details - A “no” vote did not prevent development of the Renewal Area but will significantly limit opportunities the Town can consider. There are a number of uses that can be built “by-right” under existing zoning. These uses require no action by Town meeting including:
- “Big Box” Retail Establishments
- Self-Storage Facilities
- Manufacturing & Processing Plants
- Warehouse or Distribution Centers
- High Density Housing (Including 40B with Special Permit)
- More ground mounted solar facilities
- And Others