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Swampscott back on track for over-55 development

SWAMPSCOTT — After a years-long delay, plans for a senior housing development on Archer Street are back on track.

The Zoning Board of Appeals voted Tuesday to give DiGiorgio and Messina Construction and P & K Funding Trust, the legal title holder, a one-year extension to plan a new, separate entrance into the site. That would break the years-old logjam from a lawsuit put forth by a neighbor who believed the original plan negatively affected water and sewer pipes connected to his Vaughn Place home, would overcrowd the neighborhood, and would increase traffic and parking congestion.

Once finished, the development would be an over-55 living facility with 15 condominium-style units and two-story single-family residences, according to the developer’s proposed plan.

“This is an older project that originally came to town in 2012 with a public hearing and then was passed through in 2013,” said Molly O’Connell, senior planner for Swampscott’s Community and Economic Development Department. “The applicant’s original plan for access to the property had complications.”

The extension was granted so developers could construct a new access point using a “paper street,” which, according to Jill Mann, a representative of the developer, is a street that appears on a map but has not been built.

“We are able to develop the road but we have to connect it to Foster Street, which requires full subdivision approval from the town,” Mann said. “We can’t act on construction until we get access.”

Once the subdivision is approved, Mann said she has to go back to the Zoning Board of Appeals for approval to modify the permit. Once the new entrance is approved, it will change the layout because people would be coming in from a different direction.

The rest of the proposed concept would stay the same, Mann said, including on-site parking.

“We are truly in the first of many stages,” said Mann. “Now I have to go for subdivision approval, go before the town and get them to agree to the street and then develop the street. I have a lot of work ahead of me, but it’s doable.”

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