Lowell ZBA vacates housing expansion OK

Lowell Sun | By Grant Welker
November 11, 2016

LOWELL — The Zoning Board of Appeals voted Tuesday to “vacate” its recent approval for a proposed Pawtucketville housing development to add more units to what was first approved.

The unanimous vote was taken after the city’s law office recommended the move.

City Solicitor Christine O’Connor, the head of the law department, said in a letter to the board last week that it should not have approved the additional units without holding a public hearing. It instead used what’s called an administrative review, meant for only minor changes, which brought a rebuke from city councilors and the city administration.

The proposal for 18 units of housing on Varnum Avenue will come up next for a public hearing as early as Jan. 9.

Tuesday’s meeting lasted only several minutes, with a group of Pawtucketville Citizens Council members in attendance. It wasn’t a public hearing, and the members were frustrated to have been again shut out of the process.

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