Council Votes to Change Zoning for Former Thurgood Marshall Middle School Building

September 29, 2017
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By John Lynds

After opting back in May not to take action to amend the city’s zoning ordinance to remove some zoning restrictions to allow for potential reuse of the former Thurgood Marshall Middle School building the Lynn City Council voted unanimously Tuesday night to remove zoning restrictions.

Council President Darren Cyr said the vote was the first time in the city’s history a zoning restriction was lifted by the Council so a future redevelopment of the former school could go a lot more smooth.

Removing the zoning restrictions, said Cyr, would make a future project at the site a lot easier.

“It would be a lengthy process for a developer to come in and change the zoning,” said Cyr. “We’ve held two meetings in the Council Chambers, knocked on doors and talked to people and everyone is supportive.”

The Council has formed a Request For Proposal (RFP) committee and hopes to send out requests in the near future.

“This means the Council will have complete control over the process and what is built,” said Cyr.

Cyr said the committee hopes to recapture the shell of the historic building, gut the inside and transform the former school into mixed use development.

“A portion of the units will be low-income subsidized housing for seniors over the age of 62,” said Cyr.

Cyr added that the rest of the 100 plus units the committee is hoping to create there through a developer will be market rate housing.

“We are looking to do something that will have the least impact on the neighborhood and the city and bring in some revenues through taxes,” said Cyr.

Members of the Mass Senior Action Council spoke in favor of changing the zoning to create much needed senior housing in Lynn.

One Mass Senior Action Council members said the group has been advocating for safe, affordable and quality senior housing for over 20 years. Once the project is completed and the senior units built, the member said, it will be one more way to add more units for those living on fixed incomes that amount to less than $2,000 per month at a time when housing costs are high.

Other City Council actions:

The Lynn City Council approved the following appoints by Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy;

Susan Carrol to the Park Commission, her term will expire May 1, 2020

Jimmy Gonzalez to the Park Commission, his term will expire May 1, 2021

Nelson Sosa to the Conservation Commission, his term will expire Sept. 7, 2019

Philip Brooks to the Conservation Commission, his term will expire Sept. 7, 2019

Laura Ippoliti to the Conservation Commission, her term will expire Sept. 7, 2018

Mary Lester to the Conservation Commission, her term will expire Sept. 7, 2020

Michael Toomey to the Conservation Commission,his  term will expire Sept. 7, 2020

The Council also voted to appointed Traffic Commission James Brienza effective immediately and his term will expire September 30, 2019, as well as to re-appoint Traffic Commission

Christopher Rowe effective immediately and his term will expire September 30, 2019.

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