New apartment building proposed for Cross Road

Feb 10, 2020

Dartmouth may soon welcome a few more faces, as the town could get a new 24-unit apartment building on Cross Road by the end of next year.

At a February 10 Planning Board meeting, President of Rockwood Homes Inc. Kevin Medeiros presented his plans for an informal review.

The apartment building would feature 24 two-bedroom units on three floors.

The site is located on Cross Road south of Route 6, between the Nissan dealership and Fenton Street, the access road to the commercial complex containing Target and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Medeiros said that he will be requesting a zoning variance for the building, as it is located in a business district, and its 44-foot high gable roof exceeds the maximum building height of 35 feet.

He noted that the building’s units would not be age restricted.

“We’re just looking for some feedback and input as to this site plan,” Medeiros said at the meeting.

The board brought up several concerns with the project, including a lack of recreational green space for any children who might live there, as well as a lack of sidewalks connecting the building to the street and to the commercial complex behind it.

“People are going to [walk there] anyway,” said board member John Sousa. “It’s gonna happen. Let’s make it safe for them.”

Board member Stephen Taylor noted that as Medeiros plans to rent out the units at market value, the building would decrease the town’s ratio of affordable housing — which in 2018 sat at 8.25 percent, below the state-mandated minimum of 10 percent.

Aiming for a ratio of ten percent or more, said Taylor, “should be, I think, a goal of this board.”

“This project’s not going to help the town out with that number,” Medeiros stated simply.

However, board member Margaret Sweet pointed out that with the new partly-affordable complex going in on Route 6, the ratio should go up regardless.

“The census data is going to change all of those numbers again, so it’s kind of in flux,” noted Planning Director Christine O’Grady.

The board members said they appreciated that Medeiros came out before the official site plan review.

And many members appeared pleased with the plan overall.

“I think this is a better than average proposal,” said Taylor. “There’ll be no problem selling these units.”

“The students definitely need [a place],” said Sweet on the site’s proximity to UMass Dartmouth and its location outside residential zones. “I think this is a good place for them.”

“We’re marketing to everyone,” said Medeiros after his presentation. “We’re not limiting it to UMass, we’re not limiting it to people with children, or young adults.”

He said that he expects the project to wrap up by the winter of 2021, if all goes according to plan.

“[The comments are] great,” he added. “They help us...We can come back with the revisions and we can expect a good outcome, because we’ve changed our plans to what they’re looking for.”