Falmouth developer seeks to double remaining housing at Tidewater Farm

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FALMOUTH — Tidewater Farm developer Nathan Bateman is seeking another amendment to the project’s master plan that would allow him to double the number of residences allowed on the last remaining developable lot.

Bateman made the request at Monday’s Town Council meeting. But he didn’t provide many details about the changes, other than to say the new residences would be mostly one- and two-bedroom units.

The council, which has allowed several amendments to Tidewater Farm over the past 14 years, will hold a public hearing on Bateman’s proposal May 13. The Planning Board will also review the request at its May 7 meeting.

Bateman said Monday that he’s been working to come up with the right mix of uses for the lot of just less than 2 acres, designated as Tidewater Village-3.

Overall, he said, “I’m asking to increase the density and lower the lot sizes.”

His request follows the recent sale of several acres of the remaining Tidewater Farm land to the town, which plans to sell a portion of that acreage to the Falmouth Land Trust for a new headquarters that will provide space for educational programming and the development of open space resources.

In a memo, Town Manager Nathan Poore told councilors that Bateman wants permission to add 18 more units to the 17 now allowed on the TV-3 site; to increase the maximum combined building size to 74,000 square feet, which would allow an additional floor while still staying within current building height limits, and add restaurants to the allowed first-floor uses.

These requested changes are “generally consistent” with the original design requirements for the TV-3 site, Poore’s memo said.

As it stands, the master plan allows multiplexes and apartments on the upper floors of mixed-use buildings as long as not less than 40 percent of the net leasable area on the first floor of any building is used as retail or grocery store space. Allowed uses on the lower floors also include business and professional offices, retail and service establishments, day-care centers and farmers markets, among others.

At least some councilors seemed to support the changes. Councilor Amy Kuhn said she appreciates Bateman moving the more dense residential area closer to public transit and sidewalks.

The only thing councilors asked in return is that Bateman consider adding electric vehicle charging stations. Bateman indicated it’s something he’s considering and would be willing to discuss further.

Also in his memo, Poore pointed out to councilors that part of the purchase and sales agreement for the land the town recently bought from Bateman states that “the parties agree to cooperate, facilitate, and act in good faith to obtain the (final) amendment of the master plan.”

Kate Irish Collins can be reached at 780-9097 or kcollins@theforecaster.net. Follow Kate on Twitter: @KIrishCollins.

Tidewater Farm developer Nathan Bateman wants to increase the number of residential units allowed on the lot marked as TV-3 from 17 to 35. The Falmouth Town Council will hold a public hearing on the request May 13.

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