Village at Albion approved pending zone change

Village at Albion approved pending zone change

LINCOLN – Despite growing concerns about the town’s ability to provide adequate water to new developments, the Lincoln Planning Board will allow a developer to build 14 age-restricted condominiums at the former Highridge Swim and Tennis Club at 192 Old River Road.

The project by Frank Paolino’s Link Commercial Properties is moving forward after the Planning Board reviewed it at the master plan level Sept. 25.

The biggest hurdle to the condo development was achieving an amendment to the town’s comprehensive plan zoning map, which would allow for the property zone to be changed from RS-20 (residential single-family) to RG-7 (residential general).

Town Planner Al Ranaldi said the Technical Review Committee found the project is consistent with the comprehensive plan, with similar types of developments on two sides that are zoned RG-7.

Ranaldi said the proposed project has a lower density than surrounding complexes.

In addition, “Albion will continue to offer a range of housing choices,” he said. “This choice is particularly sought after in this town. People want to downsize and are actively looking for this type of housing choice.”

The amendment to the comprehensive plan map, which was approved, only impacts the project parcel. Next, the Town Council will decide whether to approve the zone change at a public hearing set for the Oct. 25 meeting.

The Planning Board also voted to approve the project at master plan level, but with the council’s zone change as a condition of approval.

On the issue of water, Planning Board member Gerald Olean said he wanted to make it clear that the board does not take responsibility for confusing “inconsistencies” in a letter from the Lincoln Water Commission about the project.

In the letter, the LWC said it could supply adequate water to the development, but just barely, and only if “conservation measures” were put into place.

The water commission’s superintendent, Romeo Mendes, told The Breeze he wrote the letter that way on purpose.

“I’m not very confident,” Mendes said. “I want everyone on the same page.”

Upon motioning for the Planning Board’s conditional approval of the development, Chairman Ken Bostic said, “I want to be clear that the developer intends to satisfy the requests of the Water Department 100 percent at their cost.” An attorney for Link agreed.