SMOC shot down, for now Tuesday, August 9, 2005
David McLaughlin 508-626-4338 Metrowest Daily News
FRAMINGHAM -- The building commissioner this week will formally deny a building permit to turn a Winter Street nursing home into temporary housing for recovering drug addicts.

Commissioner Joe Mikielian said yesterday he will deliver his decision to the South Middlesex Opportunity Council on Thursday outlining several steps the agency must take before it can get its permit.

Mikielian said the decision was still being reviewed by Town Counsel Chris Petrini, but a central requirement will be appearing before the Planning Board for a review.

Town Meeting voted last week to require so-called Dover Amendment projects, like SMOC's plan to move its Sage House program into the nursing home, to go to the board for review.

"It's just changed.  It's a new law," Mikielian said.  "This is the first situation where it applies, so everything is being looked at."

SMOC's planning director, Gerard Desilets, declined to comment specifically on the denial, but said said it was not surprising.  He cautioned the state attorney general's office must uphold the bylaw change, which a SMOC lawyer also is reviewing.

SMOC, Desilets said, is confident the Planning Board review "would not be used to delay or unnecessarily interfere with the siting of a community program."

Neighbors who have organized against SMOC's plans, meanwhile, are applauding the additional Planning Board review.  Janice Skelley, a member of Stop Tax Exempt Private Property Sprawl, said she hopes the town ultimately denies the building permit.

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