Brunswick Planning Board approves rezoning of Federal Street block for land swap

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BRUNSWICK — The town is another step closer to acquiring the land for the police station at Pleasant and Stanwood streets, after the Planning Board approved zoning required for the deal to go forward.

The board Tuesday unanimously rezoned a block of Federal Street to the Town Center 1 District, which will allow the Brunswick Development Corp. to use the Town Hall building at 28 Federal St. for office use after the town vacates in 2014.

The BDC will  acquire the building if a land swap agreement is reached with the town in exchange for the new police station site. The Town Council passed a motion last week to begin those negotiations.

The block of Federal Street, from Center to Mason streets has been in the Town Residential 2 District.

According to a memo from Anne Breinich, the director of planning and development, when the block of Federal Street was changed to a more restrictive district in 1986, several buildings on the block became nonconforming, including the town’s municipal buildings. These buildings were permitted for office and recreation use by ownership only.

The Town Center 1 District zoning will allow light commercial use, though since the area still falls within the Village Review Board zone, any future building proposals will have to have that board’s approval.

One resident, who attended the public hearing, suggested that the BDC should develop the 28 Federal St. building into senior housing apartments.

“It would enable the senior citizens to be downtown and enable them to be a part of the community,” Greenhut said during the public hearing. “I want to make sure they are more incorporated.”

Dylan Martin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or Follow him onTwitter: @DylanLJMartin.