Welcome

Featured

Update: Town Meeting voted to go ahead with the Dana Home development regardless of the many issues raised by this site. 

Update: May 5, 2012 – Town Meeting Vote only days away!

On May 9th Lexington Town Meeting will vote at 7:30pm in Cary Hall on the rezoning to commercial of the properties at 2027 Massachusetts Avenue (Former Dana Home) and the historic Isaac Mulliken House at 2013 Massachusetts Avenue, now a single family home.  This would be the first time Lexington would carve out a commercial zone entirely out of a residential area.  Planning Board Chairman Richard Canale’s posted his personal views on the project on the Town Meeting Members website here.
The many issues with the project remain unchanged and the proposal should not be approved by Town Meeting.  These include:
  • The scope and scale of the proposed development are far in excess of what the site can reasonable accommodate
  • One access driveway for customer parking and deliveries is just several car lengths from the Mass Ave.-Worthen Road intersection; recommended safety improvements were identified last June by the Town engineer and are not in the plan.
  • This same driveway serves a lot and loading area which cannot even accommodate 24-foot delivery trucks, which would have to either back in or back out onto busy Worthen  Road, a major safety hazard.  Recent photos show a one of the developer’s delivery vehicles doing just that.
  • The proposal also calls for a new, 22-car, paved parking lot right on Mass Ave, an eyesore on our historic byway
  • Even with this additional large lot, the developer’s plans only allow for about 50% of parking requirements – the rest will spill over onto public streets where neighbors live
  • There are residents on ­every side of this proposed development, a combination of single family homes and 16 families in Pine Grove Village
  • The restaurant would operate 365 days a year, serving breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7am to 10pm, 7 days a week!
  • The developer has not engaged the neighborhood in any significant way and has not reduced the scope of operations despite repeated entreaties to do so

A B&B in just the footprint of the former would provide an inn for Lexington without all the disruptive elements of a restaurant which would forever alter a historic, family-friendly neighborhood.

This is an rendition of the historic Dana Home (center) and Isaac Mulliken house (right) after the proposed development based on the March 15 Site Plan; note how intensive the site plan is and how parking lots eliminate all green space between buildings.   Note that off street parking is still required and how entrances to parking lots create hazards for turning motorists and others.  Even more, the project still requires re-zoning from residential to commercial or CD zoning, something that has never been done as a spot zone before.

AB Holdings has released a revised Site Plan to the Conservation Commission in advance of its March 20th meeting.  Despite some changes to the site layout, the overall scope and scale of the project remain unchanged.  We present a list of changes made and of changes not made below. Many substantial concerns about the Site Plan and Proposal remain and are discussed here: Concerns about the Revised Site Plan for Dana Home.

The Site Plan makes the following changes:

  • The smaller house at 2013 Mass Ave is being moved 21 feet closer to the property line towards the property line (only 10 feet from the neighboring property line);
  • The addition to 2013 is smaller and just outside of the 50 foot wetlands buffer zone, but still in the 100ft buffer;
  • The small bump out to the Dana Home has been eliminated, and the restaurant being moved to the back of the house;
  • The larger resulting land space between the Dana Home and 2013 will become one large black-top parking lot containing 22 parking spaces (no Handicap spots), with all cars visible on Mass Ave all between the 2 houses (only low plantings);
  • This entire large Mass Ave lot is within the 100ft buffer zone and would rely on highly engineered ground water filtration systems which require maintenance in perpetuity;
  • The corner parking lot will be smaller than previously planned, expanding by 3 parking spaces (2 for handicapped drivers), with no improvements planned for the driveway entrance onto Worthen Rd;
  • The restaurant will have a separate entrance and a 15-seat waiting area where patrons can order drinks while they wait for a table;
  • The barn will be converted into 2 guest rooms with no offices or conference room.

Of note, many core aspects of the project are NOT changing:

  • 22 rooms (2 will be in the old barn and 9 squeezed into the adjoining house)
  • 54-seat restaurant
  • Waiting area (14 seats, plus possibly as well in the adjoining 34-seat Sitting Room)
  • Insufficient parking for guests and patrons according to Lexington By-Laws
  • Street parking for employees requires 15 spaces
As a result, the impact of the project on Lexington is not diminished by the revised Site Plan.

——-

This website is created to share information about the proposed hotel and restaurant complex located at the Dana Home on the corner of Massachusetts Ave and Worthen Rd. We invite you to:

More before and after photos can be found under the Images section.
The graphics above and below are derived from material provided by the developer of the complex, AB Holdings.
 If you have questions or suggestions, please email us!

Planning Board Review

Although the Planning Board con April 30 voted 3-1 to recommend the project to Town Meeting, the Chairman of the Planning Board voted no to the project and did not vote to approve the report which he felt only emphasized positive and not negative aspects of the project.  His explanation is available here.

The hearings are available online at LexMedia. The video is available under the Watch Us menu item, under the onDemand menu item.

You can also look at the presentations and comments offered by concerned neighbors at the following links:

Tom Harrington, a resident of Parker St, summed it up nicely:

“The power of attractiveness should not give it a free pass without concern for the impact on its surroundings. There’s no skirting the fact that this development is embedded in and touches and affects many, many residences. I think there’s been a very strong push to embrace a vision, but there needs to be a clear understanding of the practicality of the site and scale. Whatever happens on that site needs to be fully in line with the bylaws.”

You can read more at the Patch.com article.

“The challenge…has more to do with the site and not with the concept”

This quote by Trisha Perez Kennealy appeared in the Lexington Minuteman on Oct 11, 2011. We agree that the site creates challenges for her to realize the scope and scale of her concept to convert the Dana Home and neighboring historic home into a 22-room hotel, 54-seat restaurant, and a 32-seat lounge/music room.

The purpose of this website is to document those challenges (like traffic safety) and to help others learn about the true scope and scale of the project.