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Carver ReDevelopment Authority

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Caver, MA 02330

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GENERAL QUESTIONS
 

The “General” category includes all questions and answers on every subject.

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 will need to be amended at Town Meeting on April 12. If the amendments are

approved at Town Meeting, the Town will be 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.

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), is the sponsor of the Articles on the Town Meeting Warrant.

Details - The Carver Planning Board and the Carver Redevelopment Authority (RDA)*

are sponsoring 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 will encourage private investment, attract quality users, maximize

community benefits and are vital to the revitalization of this long-blighted area.

Town Meeting will be voting 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.

     

6. What does a Yes vote mean?

Summary – A “Yes” vote will allow for a state-of-the-art facility which will provide the

greatest benefits for the Town of Carver.

Details - A “yes” vote will be 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 does 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.

Once approved, the Town will 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 will only limit the development of the area to projects that

comply with bylaws currently in effect.

Details - A “no” vote will 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

 Hotels/Motels

 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

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 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.

*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 relate 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 will determine 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 regulated on Route 58 through Carver?

Summary - If the articles are approved, the developer will have to submit a plan for local

and state approvals and it will be their responsibility to satisfactorily address traffic

issues before they can get approvals to build anything.

Details

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.

12. Why increase the height to 65 feet?

Summary - The developer wants to increase the height to take advantage of state-of-

the-art distribution technology and allow for state-mandated rooftop solar panels.

Details - State-of-the-art racking technology, which allows for a more, efficient method of

retrieving warehoused merchandise, needs an “clear height” (from floor to ceiling) of 40

feet. Above the 40-foot-high racking system would be the supports for the ceiling and

roof, and above that all mechanical (HVAC) equipment, as well as solar panels, which

are mandated by the Commonwealth. The developer has indicated conceptually the

highest point of the structure will likely be approximately 55’.

13. Why change the road width?

Summary - Widening the road will improve traffic conditions and site access.

Details - The current zoning bylaw states that roads need to be 24 feet wide – no more,

no less. The developer is asking that the bylaw be changed to indicate that 24 feet in

width becomes the minimum width, allowing for widening of the roads at certain points.

14. Why raise the height of the parking lot lamps?

Summary - A taller lamp height results in the need for fewer light fixtures, which in turn

uses less power.

Details - The current zoning only allows for light poles to be 20 feet high. By raising the

light pole height to 40 feet, the developer can reduce the number of site light poles by

approximately 300%.

15. Will the lights prevent light pollution?

Summary - Yes. The lighting will include downward-facing fixtures.

Details - The light fixtures will be shielded, downward-facing structures that will prevent

light “trespass.”

16. Why change the zoning bylaws regarding large-scale solar arrays?

Summary - The size of the solar array needs to be changed to meet state regulations.

Details - The designation of this parcel as a Green Business District means that certain

environmental considerations be met, such as re-using rainwater, energy-efficient

lighting, and solar power. The proposed rooftop solar arrays on the two buildings exceed

the solar by-law maximums. This by-law will need to be adopted regardless of what

project ends up in this space.

17. Why amend the “accessory structure” by-law?

Summary - The new water tank/tower needs to be 125 feet high to ensure there is

enough water pressure for fire suppression and for the residents of North Carver

currently on town water.

Details - The current by-law allows for a water tower of any height if it is a “municipal

structure” (owned by the Town of Carver.) Since ownership of the water tower has not

been decided yet, the developer wants to ensure there is language that allows the full

height in case the Town of Carver does not take ownership.

18. How will traffic be impacted?

Summary - Due to the nature of the proposed use, and the size of the structure, there

will be an incremental increase in traffic in the vicinity of the facility.

Details - Traffic volume will increase when the facility opens. Planned improvements

have the potential to not only mitigate facility traffic but improve some existing

conditions. Carver was given a $3.2 million dollar grant from the Commonwealth’s

MassWorks program to re-align Montello Street to avoid the current Dunkin’

Donuts/Aubuchon/Nouria intersection. That work is ongoing. Future plans include a re-

working of the entire Route 44/Route 58 intersection. The proposed site location for the

intended use is ideal, as it is in close proximity to the interstate highway system and will

have less of an impact on the Town and State roadway system within the municipality.

19. What’s going to happen with the already congested intersection of 44 and 58?

Summary - This area of roadway will undergo significant improvement that will not only

mitigate the impact of traffic from the project, but also improve driving conditions for

citizens of (and visitors to) the Town of Carver.

20. Can access to Route 58 and/or any other local streets be limited?

Summary - The Town and the Carver Redevelopment Authority are working with

Hillwood to minimize the traffic on Route 58 and local streets, especially at night.

Details - Because of the size of this project, the Carver Planning Board will need to

issue a special permit. One of the conditions of the permit may be to mandate that the

tenant direct all truck traffic to Route 44 eastbound and westbound. This could be

monitored with the use of GPS trackers in the trucks.

21. Was eminent domain used to acquire the property?

Summary - No. Eminent domain was not used to acquire any properties

associated with this project.

Details - All parcels that are currently part of the North Carver Project were

purchased by the developer at fair market value or above. All previous owners

negotiated agreements that were honest, open, and just.

* These answers are provided by the Carver ReDevelopment Authority as of 12/16/21

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