Problem
Small New England communities can suffer when major projects come to town. Drainage problems, excess traffic and noise can all be disruptive and take extraordinary amounts of time for municipal officials. CEI often works for these towns, minimizing the impacts through a careful review, comment and adjustment cycle that often results in better, more focused projects. A recent project in the Town of Westwood, Massachusetts involved the redevelopment of Westwood Station. The project involves a 15 parcel, 134 acre redevelopment project proposed adjacent to the existing University Avenue MBTA station and within site of the Neponset River. This proposed mixed-use transit oriented redevelopment project is planned to transform the University Avenue area of Westwood that now consists of out-of-date industrial, warehouse and office uses to a transportation hub combining residential, retail and office space with a "smart growth" approach. Some of the challenges include the project’s location, which partially occupies the Dedham Westwood Water District Zone I and II Aquifer Protection areas; as well as being next to the Neponset River and adjacent to an Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC).

Solution
CEI was hired by the Town of Westwood Conservation Commission to provide comprehensive review services for the proposed Westwood Station redevelopment.

The proposed project will result in 4.5 million square feet of mixed-use development including retail, restaurants, offices, residential, hotel and fitness, public safety/community and utility use. CEI provided a comprehensive stormwater and natural resource review on behalf of the Conservation Commission including review of stormwater management, Low Impact Development (LID) and SmartGrowth practices, groundwater infiltration and recharge methods, wetland resource areas, proposed replication, Operations & Maintenance issues and emergency response planning.

Outcome
A uniquely large redevelopment project, CEI attended numerous meetings within a 2-3 month timeframe with the applicant, Conservation Agent and Westwood’s project liaison to review the project and provide recommendations on behalf of the Conservation Commission. CEI’s review resulted in less wetland impact, an increase from 2:1 to 3.5:1 wetland replication, natural stream replication, additional LID elements, and significant groundwater recharge.