Sharon Residents Taking Sides on New Sharon Commons Layout

Two petitions, one for and one against, seek to persuade the ZBA.

Sharon residents are taking sides on Sharon Commons' revised layout.

Two petitions -- one for, one against -- are circulating online, asking the Sharon Zoning Board of Appeals to take their side on the retail project's revised site plan.

Target officials' request for a building reconfiguration prompted the new design, attorney Robert Shelmerdine told the Sharon Board of Health .

The ZBA will meet with Sharon Commons representatives again tonight at the Sharon Town Offices. The meeting starts at 7 p.m.

As of 8:30 this morning, the petition to support had 409 signatures.

"We welcome both Target and BJ's to our town and the opening of 'Sharon Commons' will generate much needed tax revenue for Sharon," the petition states.

"We understand that the consultant hired by the town's zoning board of appeals has stated that…' The plan that is now before the board complies fully with the zoning bylaw and is actually what was voted at town meeting."

The petition to reconsider, meanwhile, had 71 signatures.

"Specifically, we believe that approval of the new layout of the building currently planned for occupancy by Target Corporation exceeds the scope of authority granted the zoning board of appeals (ZBA) by the voters of the town of Sharon at town meeting, by changing the character of the project from a that of a 'lifestyle' mall to that of a 'power' mall," the petition states.

"Beth Greene of the Sharon Commons Design Review Committee stated publicly at the most recent ZBA meeting that this site plan does not meet the criteria that town meeting approved. This site plan will change the character of the mall from a 'lifestyle' mall to a 'power' mall."

The roughly 59-acre site is bordered by Old Post Road and Interstate 95.

Target and BJ's Wholesale Club will be the first tenants in the development.

Shelmerdine said Monday night the project started with about 450,000 square feet of retail space.

The new figure is nearly 400,000 square feet, he said.

soccerjude June 13, 2012 at 01:10 PM
This project has turned into one big lie. At Town Meeting, the developer held out a carrot in the form of an "upscale lifestyle mall", as well as a stick - a 40B development. TM voted for the upscale lifestyle mall, and what have we gotten? So far, we've been given anchors in the form of two stores that don't come close to fitting the "upscale" mold (BJ's and Target). Worse still, both already have heavy saturation on the South Shore; no more than a 20 minute drive of Sharon Town Center, you can reach three BJ's stores (Stoughton, Dedham, and North Attleboro) and four Target stores (Stoughton, North Attleboro, Easton and Plainville). Green space, as originally outlined in the plan, keeps shrinking so that there can be more pavement. I'm not saying that town officials have to say no to the entire plan, but if the "tweaks" will keep changing the nature of the project more and more, at what point do they give it an objective eye and see it for what it is: NOTHING like what we originally were told we'd get. We were promised an upscale lifestyle mall, and we're going to get a strip mall indistinguishable from one of the vast paved wastelands on Route 1. What a sick, sad joke.
Valerie Frank June 14, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Typical Sharon, knocking down any businesses that could generate revenue for the town while our property taxes go up and up. We have the second highest property taxes in the state, but you'd never know it to drive on our roads or go to our library. THAT'S the sick, sad joke.
Kurt Buermann June 15, 2012 at 02:51 AM
Valerie-- Let's once and for all put paid to the myth that this type of development will lower your property taxes in any meaningful way: http://savepinetop-lakeside.com/myths-growth.html And-- Nothing wrong with our library or roads. In fact, they are very effective at traffic calming
Jordan Arbit June 15, 2012 at 12:03 PM
True that!
David Dubin June 15, 2012 at 05:25 PM
So instead we have nothing. Just the crappy Shaw's strip with virtually no other stores and an old movie theater. Much better.
David Dubin June 15, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Great point, Valerie. People getting off of 95 to do business in our town would be such a terrible thing if it was at a Target and not an artsy "lifestyle mall". What does that even mean? A Target or BJ's would mean more jobs for Sharon residents. More customers at all of the great restaurants and shops that are right across the street in Shaw's plaza.... oh wait, there are none. Well, maybe we could get some.
Valerie Frank June 15, 2012 at 10:14 PM
I think even the people who are involved with the library would say that our library is lacking in resources. And I would hardly say our roads are "traffic calming."


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