It was all ayes on plans to transform the Dana Home and an adjacent property into a “New England-style inn” to be known as the Inn at Hastings Park, which received approval last week from the Zoning Board of Appeals.
In a meeting last Thursday, July 26, Lexington’s ZBA approved a definitive site development plan (DSDUP), allowing certain new uses and site improvements and a special permit to allow an additional standing sign at the site.
Those approvals all came over objections from some members of the neighborhood directly across the road from the properties at 2013 and 2027 Mass Ave, including a comment that some neighbors are even considering moving out of town.
According to Trisha Perez Kennealy, the project proponent and property owner, her vision is to create a New England-style inn and restaurant that is a destination for locals and visitors alike, and which is accessible to attractions like the town center, Minuteman Bikeway and Minute Man National Historical Park.
“What we’re trying to do is create an environment for our guests that feels like a home away from home,” Kennealy said.
Earlier this year, and residence next door. Plans for the Inn at Hastings Park call for a hotel-restaurant concept with 22 rooms and a restaurant with seating for 54.
Delivery details, parking plans and the prospect of having a bar in the neighborhood have been concerns raised throughout the planning process, and came up again at the ZBA meeting last week.
Some of the specific concerns raised by members of the audience who spoke in objection to the project included parking, hours of operation and vehicles of 24 and 30 feet not being able to access the property from Worthen Road. Members of the neighborhood submitted an eight-page letter expressing “great concerns,” according to Mass Ave resident John Patrick, who said he spoke on behalf of a number of residents.
“This part of the community is extremely upset and a number of people are looking at moving out of Lexington,” over feelings that their concerns were not considered as the CD rezoning and project plans progressed through the approval process, Patrick said.
Some of the sentiment, as it has been throughout, was that transitioning from a residence and residential elder care facility to the Inn at Hastings Park concept goes beyond the intent the CD zoning.
One of those was Phil Hurd, who lives at 2016 Mass Ave resident.
“We feel that putting this directly across the street from our house and other families’ is a major change to the neighborhood,” he said.
Hurd also added that he hopes homeowners will be granted the same consideration and flexibility when they go before town boards looking to alter their properties to mitigate any negative impacts from the change in use.
In response, Ed Grant, who serves as counsel for the applicant, noted the that the project has been fully vetted, and the issues raised before the ZBA had been brought up previously. Earlier in the meeting, Grant had noted that the “decisive margin of approval” at Town Meeting “speaks convincingly” about the support for the project.