As many of you have heard, the owner of the property at 1042 Main Street in North Woburn has commenced with construction of a 168-unit, 40 B housing project. The City has vigorously opposed this project since its inception, and has expended more than $100,000 in legal fees fighting the State-issued permit. The following is a chronology of the State housing appeals committee and Massachusetts Appeals courts approval of the 40 B project—over strong objection from the City of Woburn’s administration and local boards:
In October 2000, Cirsan Realty Trust submitted a comprehensive permit application to the Woburn Board of Appeals for the construction of a six-story building containing 168 apartments atop the hill at 1042 Main Street, accessed by a lengthy and winding roadway. On October 11, 2001, the Woburn Board of Appeals filed its decision denying the comprehensive permit based upon the roadway design, traffic and blasting.
In 2003, the Land Court overturned the Woburn Board of Appeals’ 2001 denial issuing a decision that was upheld by the Appeals Court in 2006. A request to the Supreme Judicial Court for further appellate review was denied on September 11, 2006.
The current owner, Woburn 38 Development LLC filed an application to modify the comprehensive permit by redesigning the project into four, three-story buildings and a clubhouse. On October 12, 2012, the Woburn Board of Appeals denied the application based inter alia, on the lengthy site development involving blasting, rock removal and related truck traffic, on site rock crushing and the likely impact of all of the foregoing on the adjacent residential neighborhood.
The [City of Woburn] appealed the decision to the Housing Appeals Committee (“HAC”), which overturned the Woburn Board of Appeals’ denial, and issued a decision modifying the comprehensive permit as requested in the application. The HAC decision was appealed to the Appeals Court, which issued a decision in November 2017 upholding the HAC. Once again, the Board of Appeals’ application to the Supreme Judicial Court for further appellate review was denied on February 6, 2018.
Though the City and the Board of Appeals did not prevail in challenging the approval of the initial comprehensive permit and the modification thereof, the 2017 Appeals Court decision sets out the City’s course of action. According to the Appeals Court:
“The developer presented expert evidence that the project will comply
with all applicable noise requirements. Despite the blasting and earth
removal required for this project, the developer did not seek a waiver of
any Federal, State, or local regulation related to noise. The HAC specifically
found that “[c]onstruction of the development will not go forward unless it is
in compliance” with all noise requirements, and, in fact, made the comprehensive
permit subject to a condition that construction comply with all Massachusetts,
Federal, and local noise and vibration regulations and requirements. In addition,
the comprehensive permit provides that “[l]ocal officials and residents may
take whatever actions are normally taken to ensure enforcement of such
The Mayor, Police Chief, Fire Chief, Building Commissioner, Board of Health Agent and City Solicitor meet regularly to discuss Woburn 38’s project, and visit the site frequently, in order to ensure the Developer complies with all applicable regulations and requirements.
Click on the links below for the referenced Housing Appeals Decision 2003, 2015, as well as the current construction plans and conditions: