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6 Cherry Street

6 Cherry Street

The Applicant, ANFM Realty LLC, requests two Special Permits relative to the conversion of the existing 3 unit dwelling into a 4 unit dwelling on the property located at 6 Cherry Street. The conversion results in one less bedroom overall on the site: the existing 3 residential units containing a total of 6 bedrooms are being converted to 4 residential units containing a total of 5 bedrooms.

The existing residential building located on the property at 6 Cherry Street was constructed circa 1889. The property is a pre-existing non-conforming multi-family residential use which was located in the CIA Zoning District and is now located in the pending Danvers Town Center Live/Work District. The Board of Appeals has granted a Finding, a copy of which is included with this Application package, permitting the proposed change of use, unfortunately since the Finding was not exercised within twelve months of issuance, the new Character Based DTC Live/Work Bylaw now applies to this renovation.

Proposal:

The Applicant purchased the property in August of 2017, and is in the process of rehabilitating the building and improving the property’s appearance. A later vintage dilapidated garage at the rear of the property was removed earlier this year by the Applicant with the assent of the Preservation Commission. The Applicant proposes to update the interior of the residential structure to meet both current code requirements and the housing needs in the downtown area.

The property currently consists of 3 units with a total of six bedrooms. The Applicant proposes to renovate the interior of the building to provide 4 units with a total of 5 bedrooms as follows:

Three 1-bedroom units
One 2-bedroom unit

No alteration of the building footprint and no increase in the building square footage are proposed. The proposed one and two bedroom units will provide needed housing in the downtown area for small households. Adequate parking is provided on-site with 1 space per bedroom as required. The location of the parking spaces represents existing conditions; access to the spaces has been recently improved by the removal of a dilapidated barn.

I. Density Bonus Special Permit to allow minimum square footage per unit less than 2,722.5 s.f. and greater than 1,815 s.f. (Section 18.4; Table 18-1)

As noted above, the Applicant received a Finding from the Board of Appeals to allow the conversion of the property from 3 units with 6 bedrooms to 4 units with 5 bedrooms. Since the February 2020 Special Town Meeting adoption of the Character Based Zoning, the Finding is no longer applicable and the Applicant must now seek a Special Permit from the Planning Board to permit a density with less than 2,722.5 s.f. per unit, but more than 1,815 s.f. per unit. The project engineer has conducted a survey of the property and has confirmed that the lot area is 7,328 s.f., thus providing 1,832 s.f. per unit. The Applicant is requesting a Density Bonus Special Permit under Section 18.4.C to allow 4 units with 1,831 s.f. of lot area per unit and offers the following as Public Benefit Improvements:

1. The Applicant will donate a public bench to be placed off-site in an area to be determined in consultation with the planning staff.

2. As discussed with Planning Staff, an applicant may offer a greater donation than the required Affordable Housing under Section 18-12. Table 18-12 requires no designated affordable housing units for projects with 1-4 units. To meet the Affordable Housing monetary donation calculation under Table 18-13, and as a significant additional Public Benefit, rather than the monetary payment, the Applicant will designate 1 unit as Affordable in perpetuity. Since there is only one new unit being created by this project, this is a very significant improvement being offered by this Applicant.

II. Design Waiver Special Permit (18-13)

The new Character Based Zoning Bylaw does not make specific provisions for grandfathered or existing conditions, nor does it provide a waiver mechanism for the Planning Board short of a Special Permit where no expansion or no new building is proposed. As noted above, this residential structure was constructed circa 1889; the Applicant is proposing NO exterior changes to the building and no increase in building footprint. The existing driveway, and streetscape will remain as they have for many decades.

Therefore, to the extent necessary, the Applicant requests a waiver by Special Permit of the Design Requirements of the DTC Live/Work requirements to allow this existing structure to be renovated for one additional unit but one less bedroom with no expansion or exterior alterations. The Applicant is respecting the historical integrity of this site by making no changes to the exterior of the 1889 structure. The streetscape will remain unchanged. In meeting with planning staff, we understand that a “blanket waiver Special Permit request” in this case is appropriate.

The Applicant notes in particular, a waiver Special Permit of the 30’ setback for parking spaces is required. The parking space location proposed is pre-existing on site and approximately 15’ from the front lot line. This is in keeping with existing driveway parking setbacks within the neighborhood.
The Applicant submits that this project meets the Design Waiver Special Permit Review Criteria as follows:

1. This project by providing residential use and specifically one additional affordable unit, and maintaining an historic circa 1889 structure and streetscape in the Downtown Live/Work District is consistent with the purpose of Section 18.

2. The design waivers which are required owning to the existing conditions on the site which are not being altered, are consistent with waiver eligibility requirements.

3. Social, economic and community needs are all served by this project by providing needed housing, an affordable unit, outdoor amenity space of 33% and a donation of a public bench for off-site location.

4. Adequate safety of traffic flow, access, parking and loading are provided appropriate for the proposed residential use.

5. Adequate utilities and other public services are provided; the Applicant will improve the stormwater management onsite by upgrading the gutter downspout interaction with the ground surface as proposed in the Project Engineer’s narrative submitted with this application package
6. .
7. The residential streetscape will remain providing a positive impact on pedestrian comfort and safety.

8. Positive potential fiscal impacts of the project include:

i. Rehabilitation of the interior of the building
creating an additional residential unit will improve
tax base

ii. Decrease in the number of bedrooms over existing
conditions will decrease impact on water and sewer
usage.

9. There will be no substantial detriment in the CBZD or surrounding neighborhoods by this residential renovation

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