The Conservation Committee this week unanimously approved Middleton developer Mario Zepaj’s revised proposal to build a 25-unit apartment building at 344 Salem Street.
The proposal came before the committee because the project affects a wetland buffer zone.
Zepaj scaled down his original proposal for a building with 2-bedroom and 1-bedroom units, to 24 one-bedrooms and 1 studio. The plan includes 50 on-site parking spaces, most of which will be under the building. Rick Salvo, engineer for the project, also presented plans on how Zepaj plans to ensure no stormwater or drainage from the building will impact the wetland buffer zone.
The parcel at 344 Salem St. is a half-moon of land with the buffer zone at the tip of the rear end of the property. There is a vacant garage on the site. Attorney Nancy O’Neil, who represents Zepaj, said an apartment building would be a more environmentally friendly use of the site and it fits in the neighborhood which has a large condo complex nearby.
The committee issued a list of special conditions which included notifying the city if any soil tests reveal a need for remediation and the disposal of construction debris that now litters the site.
During a Zoning Board of Appeals hearing when Zepaj requested seven variances from dimensional controls, neighbors came out to voice concerns about water pressure and neighborhood continuity, but there was no one who spoke for or against the project at the conservation committee hearing except for committee member Nick Rudolph.
“It’s a drastic improvement from what it was,” Rudolph told Zepaj and his team.