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Senior housing proposed for Sagamore Spring in Lynnfield

A sketch of one of the proposed triplex units at the Sagamore Spring Golf Course senior housing community. (Courtesy Photo)

LYNNFIELD — An over 55 residential community with 154 units of housing is being proposed for 105 acres around the Sagamore Springs Golf Course.

In April, town meeting voters need to approve three articles to help pave the way for the project. The 18-hole golf course will remain on the property.

The rezoning includes changing the east side of the property from a residential to an elderly housing district, allowing a golf course as a permitted use in an elderly housing district, and increasing the maximum number of units allowed in an elderly housing district from 136 to 154, according to Ted Regnante, the local attorney representing the Residences at Sagamore Spring project.

“This will have a positive financial impact on the town,” said Regnante. “We will have a detailed financial report prior to town meeting. There will be no impact on the school population; this will be an over 55 community with no children under 18 permitted to reside there.”

Regnante estimated the project would bring in close to $1.8 million annually in gross tax revenue to the town.

The project is being proposed by developer Richard Bonvie, president of Mashpee-based Bonvie Homes. Bonvie has been behind several high-end over 55 communities across the state, including the New England Country Club project in Bellingham.

The planned residences will be attached two-bedroom townhomes ranging from 2,400 to 3,000 square feet, built in clusters of duplexes, triplexes, and quads, with expected listing prices from $700,000 to $900,000, according to Regnante.

“One of the distinguishing features of our communities is our focus on creating a true lifestyle for our homeowners,” said Bonvie.

Richard Tisei, owner of Northrup Associates, is working with Bonvie on the marketing of the community.

“This community will provide much needed residences for adults 55 and over who want to remain in Lynnfield as they become empty nesters,” he said.

The Sagamore Spring Golf Course has been owned by the Luff and Strobel/Thompson families since 1929. Richard Luff, speaking on behalf of the landowners, said the proposed active adult community was the most attractive option of several he and his family considered for the land.

“Working with Ron and his team will ensure the best use of the land and allow the golf course to remain open to the public,” he said.

Selectmen Chairman Christopher Barrett asked what the other options for the property could be if town meeting does not approve the rezoning.

“Single family residential use would be permitted in the district without a change of zoning,” said Regnante.

He said 50 to 80 single family homes could be developed on the property, bringing in a much greater potential for school-aged children.

“If this is done correctly, it would be more desirable than 85 homes,” said Selectman Richard Dalton.

Selectman Phil Crawford also said the initial proposal by Bonvie looked to be a better use than single-family homes, but added he did have some concerns about water and sewer usage.

“I think there would be a lot of interest in a development like this for people who are downsizing,” said Crawford. “It would also open up four and five bedroom colonial homes for families looking to move to Lynnfield.”

Resident Patricia Campbell said she understands the need for senior housing in Lynnfield, but asked if there was an opportunity for units which were less expensive.

Residents can get a closer look at plans for the development during a public meeting at the Gaslight restaurant at MarketStreet at 11 a.m. Saturday. Bonvie said there will be several additional meetings on the proposal in the lead up to town meeting.

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