Norwell: Building height remains an issue in Simon Hill 40B proposal

The Norwell Zoning Board of Appeals continuing their hearing Tuesday night on the Simon Hill 40B affordable housing proposal located off Prospect Street.

The board took three and half hours to hammer out some of the remaining disputed conditions between themselves and the developer on the affordable housing proposal that features 126 rental units.

The developer has reduced the project from 4 buildings to 3, but the most contentious issue and one that has neighbors up in arms – 48 foot building heights – hasn’t changed at all.

ZBA chair Lois Barbour addressed the issue and told the applicant, “You know, you’ve given us some minimal concessions. Instead of having the building spread out on the edge of the property, you’ve pulled them in. I’m not ungrateful about that and I think there was a good faith effort to try to pull this project together, so it would work. But I think, not listening to our primary concern, which was building height, is really a problem!”

ZBA member Ralph Rivkind withdrew his motion calling for the height of buildings 2 and 3 to be 47 feet above existing grade and for building 1 to be 49 feet above, after Lois Barbour’s angst on the motion and concern about a possible decision of the Housing Appeals Committee, was evident.

“I would give them 38 to 40 feet. But I don’t think it would buy us anything because I think that what would happen at the HAC (housing appeals committee) would be worse than granting (the permit),” Barbour said.

The hearing is continued until October 16, when a final vote on the proposal is expected.


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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.