January 9, 2017
ITEM PHOTO BY OWEN O’ROURKE
Pictured is the Coast Guard housing on Goddard Drive in Nahant.
By BRIDGET TURCOTTE
NAHANT — Residents will voice their opinions on the fate of the 12 Coast Guard housing units through a town-wide survey.
“The survey is intended to seek a community consensus on which options are preferred,” said Town Administrator Jeff Chelgren.
Nahant purchased the property at Castle Road and Goddard Drive from the U.S. government for $2.1 million in 2004. The 12 existing homes date back to World War II when they were used to house soldiers who worked at a nearby bunker. Today they are leased to tenants. Chelgren said the parcels exist on one large lot.
A Special Town Meeting in 2016 proposed a new Bass Point Overlay District that would allow multi-family construction, but the article did not pass. If it had been approved, it would have allowed for eight single-family homes and a 20-unit condominium building to be built on the lot.
Earlier in the year, the town tried to sell the property to a developer, but did not receive enough bids to warrant a sale. The intent of the zoning change was to make the property more desirable for potential developers, Chelgren said.
The Board of Selectmen sent the survey to gauge what residents believe should happen to the property. They are asked to choose one of three options: selling the individual homes with zoning restrictions implemented to protect the town; selling the property to a developer; or subdividing the property to create more parcels with zoning restrictions.
“We are at a crossroad at this time and input is asked from the Town residents,” the survey reads. “Your input is valuable to us and needed so we can proceed at the April Town Meeting.”
Last week, selectmen said they were reluctant to put the Coast Guard housing on the 2017 Town Meeting warrant without first considering the results of the survey.
Residents should return the completed document to Nahant Town Hall by Feb. 3.
Bridget Turcotte can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @BridgetTurcotte.