Frequently Asked Questions
Will there be any impact on the parking designated for Burke’s Academy?
No. Burke’s Academy will keep its current 41 parking spaces. An easement will be executed to preserve Burke’s current parking.
Will the building adhere to all codes and regulations as far as fire safety and access?
The building will have state-of-the-art fire detection, protection and suppression systems, all of which must be closely reviewed with the Swampscott Fire Department as part of the building permit process.
Will the new building be handicapped accessible?
Yes. We are designing a fully accessible building under federal, state and local codes. A minimum of 5% of the apartments will be fully ADA accessible and 2% of them will be accessible for the visually or hearing impaired. All common areas will be fully accessible as well, including parking lots, vending machines, drinking fountains, corridors and elevators.
Where will the HVAC system for the building be located?
Under the proposed design, each apartment will have its own HVAC system, rather than a large central heating and cooling plant on the roof. There will be minimal noise impact for neighbors and the small condensing units that are currently specified in this design will have very little visual impact for neighbors. The condensing units are approximately two-feet tall and three-feet wide and will be distributed across the center of the roofline.
Can you describe the parking arrangements for the proposed property?
Under the current design, there would be 124 spaces with 49 proposed spaces in a garage at the rear of the property and 75 parking spaces in a surface lot.
Are you proposing fire gate for Doherty Circle? Will there be a loss parking there?
We are not proposing a fire gate or parking changes at Doherty Circle as part of this development. The parking gate concept was created to demonstrate one method of improving the connection between Pittman Road and Doherty Circle. As discussed in the community meeting, any changes to access or parking at Doherty Circle need to be initiated by the Town and the housing authority.
How and when was your traffic study conducted, especially with regard to morning rush hour traffic at the high school and traffic entering and exiting Hillcrest Circle?
The traffic study was prepared by industry leaders Vanasse & Associates. It was conducted by monitoring Burrill Street, Pitman Road, Essex Street, Burpee Road and Elm Place during weekdays from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. to capture peak rush hour conditions. The results were adjusted to mirror pre-pandemic traffic conditions and extrapolated over a period of seven years, factoring in traffic from the proposed development and the expected growth of the Town. Traffic coming out of and into Hillcrest Circle was accounted for by studying Essex Street traffic. The study concluded that the Elm Place project would not create safety issue and would not have a significant impact on traffic delays or vehicle queuing in the present or the future.
Where would the rail trail connection be located?
The rail trail ramp idea was conceived for the purpose of connecting residents and community members who are walking or biking along the north side of the railroad tracks to the south side of the tracks, effectively extending the rail trail. The developers are currently exploring this concept. In order to line up with the rail right-of-way on the other side of the track, the landing area for the rail trail connection for pedestrian and bicyclists would be created in the space between the Swampscott Housing Authority property and the western edge of the proposed Elm Place property. There is the potential for several options depending on how the ramping is designed. It is important to remember, however, that the land needed to make this connection is not owned by the Elm Place developers. While we support the creation of the rail trail, the Town and the Housing Authority need to initiate any plan to create it.
What would you do to limit noise from the new apartment building?
The project would adhere to all noise-related rules and regulations in the Town of Swampscott. Elm Place will employ a specialized general contractor to manage the construction activities of this housing development. Construction would be conducted between typical work hours and as with every new construction project, they will prepare a construction staging and management plan and will comply with the noise and hours of operation regulations of the Town. The developer will closely monitor the general contractor and construction company to make sure all noise mitigation measures are strictly monitored. Once the project is complete, our on-site management team would monitor and regulate noise strictly in the interests of our residents and our neighbors. We are a long-term owner and operator and we intend to manage the property in a responsible way and as a good neighbor.
What about offering a discounted MBTA commuter pass as an incentive if you don’t have a car?
This is an idea we will consider. We want to encourage the use of mass transit and sustainable transportation as much as possible. To accomplish this, we are exploring a variety of other management practices, amenities and features, including limiting each unit to one parking spot, installing a transit screen, bicycle storage areas, shared rental bikes, shared rental cars, shuttle services, and more.