Does the Erickson Retirement Community proposed development on Hamilton Road scare you? Are you afraid of the 1500+ units, the environmental impacts, the traffic?
Erickson thinks you are. And apparently they have a strategy to fight that.
The best way to make a scary proposition look tame - is to present you with something even scarier! That's what Erickson did Thursday night before the Planning Board and 150 members of the public. They artfully showed us what COULD be built at the site of the Royce Brook East golf course. Yes, under current zoning, that tract could be built up with huge offices, vast amounts of paved over parking, and even a heliport!
The retirement community plan looks mild in comparison - at least it did to me. Therefore I would say the strategy worked. The strategy of presenting the "worst case scenario" for the property may have been distasteful, but it was definitely useful. I would be interested to see the worst case scenarios under our present zoning for ALL of our undeveloped or underdeveloped properties.
Ultimately, the merits of Erickson's proposal will not and can not be decided based on worse alternatives. There are pros and cons to this project. I'll take a look at those another time.