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Archive for May 2012

New four story development planned for Marine Corps Rotary

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by Kate Martin
 
A new four story mixed use development may soon be going up adjacent to one of the so-called gateways to Dedham.
 

The building is proposed for just south of the Marine Corps Rotary, near the intersection of Washington Street and Providence Highway. Along with attorney Peter Zahka and architect Mike McKay, prospective owner David Raftery appeared before the Planning Board last Thursday to discuss the concept and answer questions. McKay is the designer of nearby Petruzziello Plaza, which is diagonally across the rotary from the proposed site, and of 437 Washington Street, which is at the corner of Bryant and Washington Streets.

The building is proposed for 321-325 Washington Street, which is just south of the rotary, between Star Lane and Salem Food Market.

Zahka said the 1200 square foot bottom floor would be retail, though what sort of store has yet to be determined. The top three floors would be residential apartments, with 27 units in total. There would be nine units on each floor, with the vast majority, 25, being one bedroom apartments, and two being two bedroom. The single units would be 600-800 square feet each, and the two bedrooms 1,000 square feet. In the central business zone, such mixed use buildings are encouraged, Zahka said.

The complex would have 39 parking spaces on the site, with 12 for the commercial portion of the building. Zahka said that in the central business zone, builders are required to have a space and a half of parking for each of the two bedroom units, but are not required to have parking for the other apartments. They are, however, providing 27 additional spaces for the residential component. The parking lot entrance will be down Washington Street toward the Square, away from the rotary.

“We figure it’s more than adequate parking for the site,” he said. “It’s more attractive to potential renters, that way,” Raftery added.

“The building commissioner has the right to find out if residents have cars, and make sure they’re not parked in the street or otherwise illegally,” Zahka said. He said the applicant is fairly sure that the building can be built as of right, save for a 10 foot request they have of the Zoning Board of Appeals.

McKay said the plan for the building is to be 38 feet high, with anchoring turrets that go up three feet more. The facing will be brick masonry for the first three floors, with wooden paneling for the last floor.

He said it was a somewhat different look than his other two major Square projects. “Since this is further away from the center of town, it doesn’t necessarily have the same historical details as those, and has kind of a cleaner look.”

Zahka noted that the design is still being tweaked. “Internally, we have had a number of different variations of the plan,” he said. Board member Bob Aldous asked if there would be access from the building onto Star Lane.

Zahka said no. As far as the applicant can tell, it is technically not a right of way but a driveway, and was only given a name for emergency 911 purposes, he said. “We have no rights to it.”

There will be an exit onto Washington Street directly and one on the side of the building nearest Star Lane, with a fence to guide residents of the building to Washington Street, he said.

Board member Michael Podolski was glad to see the plan. “What a difference that would make,” he said.

Fellow Board member Ralph Steeves said, “As you’re going to hear over and over, this is one of the main gateways to Dedham, and this had better be done well.” He added that so far, it looked like a reasonable addition.

Zahka said it would be better for both the town and the prospective owner if the ZBA approves the minor variance, as that allows them more parking. The building as proposed overhangs the residential zone by 10 feet, and design changes to obviate that would be difficult. “We’re hoping they grant us the relief.”

Raftery said the building hadn’t been being actively marketed but he had a relationship with the family that owned it, and they offered him the opportunity. The sale agreement should be going through soon.

Committee member John Bethoney recused himself from that portion of the meeting, since a real estate agent in his office has a professional relationship with Raftery. Steeves, too, has a mild conflict of interest, and said that if there were ever anything to vote on, he would not sit on the board for that item.

In other matters, the board approved a minor modification to the parking plan for two businesses in the Riverdale section of town: the Brickhouse Cafe and Bridge Street Automotive.

 
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Written by shiretown99

May 31, 2012 at 10:26 pm

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Editorial cartoon: Mayoral contest

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Mayoral Race 6-1-12

Written by shiretown99

May 31, 2012 at 10:12 pm

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Barnes vigil to take place Sunday

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On Sunday, May 27, New England Chapter 9 of the 173rd Airborne Brigade Association will hold a vigil in honor of Congressional Medal of Honor recipient John A. Barnes III. It will take place at the Barnes Memorial at the intersection of East Street and Eastern Avenue at the corner of the park that bears the fallen soldier’s name, and across from the World War One Memorial.
 
Private Barnes, a resident of Dedham, was killed serving in Vietnam on November 12, 1967 when he jumped on a grenade to save other men in his unit.
 
Dennis Hill, Secretary of the New England Chapter 9 group who along with four other members began the tradition of observing a vigil during Memorial Day weekend, recently offered details about the upcoming event. “This will be our 18th year running the vigil,” he said.
 
“(Veterans travel from) all over, from as far away as Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Ct., Mass. and all of the local towns. The vigil is being run for 12 hours from 0700 hours till 1900 hours. Regardless of the weather the vigil will take place and there will someone standing at the monument.
 
“The public is invited and we serve hotdogs, hamburgers and drinks to all who attend regardless of who they are, for free. No ceremony is conducted, the vigil speaks for itself. All Veterans regardless of service, as long as they are in a uniform, are invited to stand a watch which is 30 minutes.”

Written by shiretown99

May 24, 2012 at 6:41 am

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Riverdale Principal to step down

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Riverdale Elementary School Principal Doris Claypool will step down from her current position at the end of this academic year, as indicated by a job posting filed recently by the Dedham Public Schools on the district’s website and in the Boston Globe.

Neither Principal Claypool nor Superintendent of Schools June Doe replied to several requests for further details on this story. The co-president of the Riverdale PTO, Jenn Harris, gave the following comments about this transition:

“It was sad news when we were informed that Doris Claypool, Principal of Riverdale School, will not be retuning for the 2012-2013 school year. Mrs. Claypool’s term as Principal has resulted in a better Riverdale School. She earned the trust and respect of the parents. Her relationship with the Riverdale Parent-Teacher Organization was nothing short of the true definition of professionalism. She is a credit to the education field. Her position will indeed be hard to fill. We want to wish her the very best of success in her future, and let her know that she is always welcome at Riverdale.”

As of Tuesday, May 22 other vacancies posted on the district’s website included Middle School Band Director, Long Term Substitute – Elementary Regular and Special Education, Elementary School Nurse, Nurse Substitutes – All Levels, Special Education Paraprofessional, Traffic Directors, High School English Teacher, Early Childhood Speech and Language Pathologist, Middle School Science Teacher, High School Special Education (Moderate) – (Leave of Absence), Middle School Spanish Teacher (Leave of Absence) and High School Special Education Teacher (Long Term Sub) as well as the following two anticipated vacancies: High School English/Special Education (Dual Certified) and Middle School Science Teacher (Science/Engineering).

Written by shiretown99

May 23, 2012 at 2:46 am

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DHS Boys Tennis: Marauders win three in a row

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Dedham triumphed in its third consecutive match last Thursday, conquering visiting Walpole, 4-1 after besting Milton and Walpole earlier that week. As of Tuesday following the postponement of a match against Natick, the Marauders’ record stood at 4-7.
 
On Thursday the singles players swept in straight sets to lead the victory. Clark Macon (6-4, 6-4), Peter Swan (6-4, 6-1) and Brendan Flis (6-3, 6-1) controlled play at first, second and third singles, respectively. At first doubles, David St. Cyr and Nick Garcia earned a three-set conquest (4-6, 6-3, 6-0), while the second doubles pairing of Vinny Poncia and Kameel Rachmani were defeated.
 
Head Coach Paul O’Connor discussed the team’s performance against the Rebels. “The fact that we beat them a second time, that was a good win for the boys.” He said the annual matches versus Walpole serve as a sort of barometer, and until last week DHS had not swept its season series with the Rebels in a few years.
 
Coach O’Connor added that the rainy weather of the past few weeks has made it challenging to fit in practices. The Marauders host Weymouth today at 3:45 p.m. at the Mount Vernon Street Courts. When The Dedham Times went to press yesterday, the Marauders still had a chance to qualify for the state tournament via overall record by achieving at least a .500 mark.

Written by shiretown99

May 17, 2012 at 5:48 am

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Editorial cartoon: Art show

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Written by shiretown99

May 17, 2012 at 5:44 am

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Actor Michael LePage, at far left, reads from “Dubliners” as runners move along East Street near the finish line of the Ramble

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Written by shiretown99

May 4, 2012 at 7:08 am

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