New building projects bring in more revenue for the town, but Watertown residents have been frustrated by recent projects – especially large housing developments on and near Pleasant Street.
Development was one of the topics taken on by the candidates for Town Councilor-At-Large.
Aaron Dushku said he is concerned about development in Watertown, and said the Comprehensive Plan is “a beginning, not an end.” He wants to see mixed uses projects with locally owned businesses and low impact developments that do not impact the Charles River. He also wants to keep an eye on development at the Arsenal on the Charles and Arsenal Mall.
Paul Fahey said he is not sure he would have supported all the projects on Pleasant Street. He worked on the original plan that created the Arsenal Mall and said he did not support it then and will keep a close eye on it this time.
Steve Corbett said he does not agree with some of the projects in the Pleasant Street area, but said that the new zoning that allowed them was the result of a study that “everyone agreed on.”
Pleasant Street “really is a problem,” Susan Falkoff said. She said while there was a public process creating the new zoning, she did not think developers would “take the maximum liberty” on every project. She would like to see projects judged on how they fit into the neighborhood.
Tony Palomba said he would like to see the process of how projects get approved spelled out more clearly. He suggests a one-page explanation with every step in the process included.
New development is important for Watertown and the town budget, said John Donohue. This year it brought in $2.6 million in new revenue. He noted while there has been much discussion of Pleasant Street, only two new projects have been approved inside the new zoning area.
Michael Dattoli said he likes some of the features of the mixed-use projects on Pleasant Street. He thinks the area to worry about in coming years is between Watertown Square and the Arsenal on the Charlesa and will keep an eye on the property where the Wal-Mart was proposed, which is owned by Pirolli & Sons.
The election is Tuesday, Nov. 5.