Chestnut Hill Square Development Still Under Review
Despite some small issues, an independent reviewer says planned traffic improvements are sufficient.
The massive Chestnut Hill Square project will bring a lot more traffic to Route 9 and surrounding areas, but officials are confident that planned road improvements will lessen its effects.
The Board of Aldermen's land use committee met with the Chestnut Hill Square developers, traffic consultants and other city officials for three and a half hours last week to continue the discussion on the project's potential traffic plans.
An independent traffic consultant -- hired by the city but paid for by the developer -- has reviewed the plans and found them to be sufficient, despite some qualms about the developer's methodology and other issues, said Ted Hess-Mahan, Ward 3 alderman at large and chairman of the land use committee.
"They didn't agree with everything … but they agreed that the proposed mitigations would work as the developers have said," Hess-Mahan said.
The proposal, set to be on the former Omni Foods site at 200-230 Boylston Street, calls for 102,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, 60,000 square feet for medical offices, a 51,000-square-foot supermarket, a 30,000-square-foot health club and 91 residential units.
"It's going to generate a significant number of additional trips to the site every day," Hess-Mahan said.
The plans include several changes to nearby roads to mitigate the additional traffic. Among them are a Route 9 median cut to allow access to the Chestnut Hill Mall, new traffic lights at Parker Street and revamped interchanges at Langley Road and Hammond Pond Parkway.
The city held a public hearing on the proposed development late last month, drawing more than 80 citizens, many of whom were concerned about the site's potential traffic.
The land use committee will hold another working session on the Chestnut Hill Square project Nov. 4 and could vote by Nov. 30, Hess-Mahan said. If approved, the project would then go to the full Board of Aldermen. The Planning Board has already voted to recommend that the aldermen approve the project's necessary zoning changes.