Beacon Planning Board to Hold Hearings

Will hear feedback on 461-420 Main and small-cell wireless

The Beacon Planning Board on Tuesday (March 9) will hold a public hearing on the mixed-use, four-story development proposal at 416-420 Main St.

If approved, the development would encompass the existing Kitchen & Coffee cafe, adding office space on the second and third floors and a single apartment on a recessed fourth floor. A two-story live/work residence would be built at the back of the parcel, with a public mini-park in between.

The Planning Board’s hearing will differ from the hearings held in recent months by the City Council, which had been deliberating the special-use permit required for the four-story building. The council approved that permit on March 1, noting that the project’s two floors of office space, as well as the 2,300-square-foot park, more than satisfied the city’s requirement of at least one “public benefit” in exchange for the permit.

The Planning Board must grant the project site plan approval, so its hearing will cover all aspects of the proposal (except its environmental impacts, which have already been OK’d by the board). According to the council’s special-use permit approval, the Planning Board may ask the developer to modify the project design, as long as the changes do not decrease the public green space by more than 10 percent.

The board on Tuesday will also continue a public hearing on Verizon’s proposal to erect a small-cell wireless unit and antenna on a new pole in the northeast corner of the municipal parking lot near the intersection of Main and Cross streets. Mock-ups provided by Verizon show the pole painted green, gray, white or brown, or with a galvanized steel exterior, with and without a street light.

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