Norwell: Police chief voices concerns over Simon Hill 40B affordable housing proposal

The Norwell Zoning Board of Appeals continued their hearing Wednesday night for the controversial Simon Hill 40B affordable housing proposal located off of Prospect Street.

About 40 people attended the hearing.

The developer has changed the project from 80 for sale townhouses to 126 rental units in 4, three and half story buildings.

Norwell Police Chief Ted Ross weighed in on his concerns regarding the proposal and focused especially on the increased traffic expected from hundreds of vehicles, entering and exiting the proposed development.

“The proposed entrance and exit to the subdivision, is approximately 1300 feet from the intersection of Main and Prospect Streets. The impact of hundreds of additional vehicles daily would have an impact on the quality of life and safety of the residents of Prospect Street and other residents on secondary roadways, connected to Prospect Street”, Ross explained.

The neighbor’s Attorney John Whitten also blasted the developer’s proposed 21 foot set-backs and 50 foot building heights.

“There’s a parking lot within 21 feet of my clients property. Who does that in the town of Norwell? Who does that? It’s cynical! These buildings are 50 feet tall. Who does that, where the zoning by-law in Norwell has a height limitation of 35 feet? There’s no rational reason why this development couldn’t take place and preserve and respect the neighborhood”, Whitten said.

A work session is planned next Tuesday to try to hammer out an agreement on 10 pending conditions on the project.

A decision on the proposal is expected when the ZBA continues the hearing next Wednesday at 7 PM, at town hall.

About John Penny

John Penny is a town news reporter at WATD. He primarily covers stories in the towns of Marshfield, Cohasset, Scituate, Norwell, Hingham, Abington and Quincy.