Wendell commissioners have been presented with a second good idea for development of a 12-acre tract of land adjacent to Greenmount Cemetery. Though it hasn’t been formally presented to the town for consideration, Lucius Jones met with commissioners last week to float his idea for a senior apartment complex that would help supply pent-up demand and make sound use of a piece of land that is limited in its usefulness due to its location.
Commissioners have already put the veto pen to one idea that would have seen the construction of about 40 or 50 new homes valued at more than the average home price in Wendell, so it’s hard to know just how the board will react to this new opportunity.
Jones’ proposal would limit the tax revenue for the town because of the nature of the project, but it would be a significant increase for the town over what it now receives for vacant land.
Those who pay attention to such matters seem to believe that the development prospects for that property are limited for a number of reasons, including its proximity to the cemetery, the nearby location of a cell phone tower and large electrical lines that pass near the site.
With those factors in mind, the town would do well to scale back its expectations for how the property might eventually develop. It might be nice to have $300,000 homes on three-quarter-acre lots, but that’s not likely to happen here.
It is, of course, too early to know if Jones will ultimately submit his plan to the town for formal consideration, but commissioners would be wise to OK the plans if he does. Filling in vacant holes within a town can sometimes be some of the most challenging kind of development to undertake. The limitations on this site make it even more difficult. And as the town looks to grow, it makes sense to try to fill those holes when the opportunity arises.