Plans for new Cross Road apartment building take shape

Sep 23, 2020

A 24-unit apartment building is one step closer to construction on Cross Road after the Zoning Board of Appeals voted in favor of the project at a Sept. 23 meeting.

The board granted New Bedford-based developer Rockwood Homes, Inc. the variance documents necessary to build the residential project in the general business district on a vacant lot at 80 Cross Road.

The site is located just south of the Nissan dealership and north of the access road to the commercial complex containing Target and Dick’s Sporting Goods.

Developer Kevin Medeiros, president of Rockwood Homes, had previously presented the project to the Planning Board for an informal review in February.

As currently planned, the 7,500 sq ft. apartment building will stand just under 41 feet tall and comprise 24 two-bedroom units on three floors.

ZBA chair Halim Choubah noted at the meeting that there has been no opposition to the project. In fact, he said, seven neighbors — including three directly adjacent to the property — had signed a petition in favor of it.

The developers requested permission from the board to change the use of the property from business to residential, citing a tendency for the most visible part of the lot — an area that fronts on Cross Road — to flood. 

Because of this, Choubah summarized, the developers believe that any building on the lot would have to be set back from the road, which is a drawback for businesses.

The board found that there would be less impact to traffic if the project moves forward as residential rather than business, Choubah said.

Along with changing the use, the applicants also requested permission to construct the building to a height of 41 feet, although the maximum height allowed in the district is 35 feet.

Choubah cited the developers as stating that the height is necessary to build all 24 units, which will allow the developers to recoup the cost of the project, and to include a more attractive gabled roof.

“The taller roof is more attractive than a flat roof,” Choubah noted.

Two board members — Dr. Rahim Aghai and Michael Medeiros — recused themselves from the final vote, which was 3-0 in favor of granting the variances.

The plans will still have to undergo approval from the Conservation Commission and site plan review through the Planning Board before construction can begin.