Surfside Crossing Building Permit Under Appeal

Jason Graziadei •

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The site plan for Surfside Crossing's 156 condominium units.

In the latest challenge to the Surfside Crossing 40B development, Nantucket Tipping Point trustee Meghan Perry Glowacki has filed an appeal of the building permit issued to the developer for the clubhouse structure.

Citing an incomplete permit application, Perry Glowacki told the Zoning Board of Appeals that a series of steps for 40B developments had not been followed and that the building permit was not authorized by, and inconsistent with, the state Housing Appeals Committee's decision on the project.

“It is unclear to me how the building inspector and the PLUS department could issue a building permit on a project that is fully lacking in all plans," Perry Glowacki said. "This seems to be a trend that occurs in the PLUS department. The average taxpayer does not get away with submitting incomplete plans and getting a building permit. Why is this allowed for these developers? The lack of checks and balances at the PLUS department further highlights why all department heads should be held accountable by the Town Manager and the Select Board”

As it stands today, Surfside Crossing would include 156 condominium homes contained within 18 three-story buildings (two stories above grade) on 13 acres of what was undeveloped pine forest off South Shore Road that was cleared earlier this year. As a Chapter 40B development, 25 percent of those units are required by the state to be deed restricted for affordable housing, or a total of 39 units within the development, to residents earning at or below 80% of the area median income. 

Surfside crossing aerial clearing
The Surfside Crossing property, pictured here in August 2023 shortly after it had been cleared. Photo by Kit Noble

In April, the town dropped its appeal of the project and announced a commitment by the Select Board and the Surfside Crossing developers to earmark 75 percent of the 156 condominiums in the development to “directly serve year-round housing needs.” That goal would be accomplished through long-term deed restrictions at a variety of income levels, although nothing is in writing yet, a point opponents have criticized relentlessly since the dropping of the appeal.

"The Zoning Board of Appeals has 65 days upon receipt of the appeal to commence a public hearing," Planning & Land Use Services director Leslie Snell said. "The meeting date has not been determined yet. I have no comment on the appeal at this time. It was just recently received and needs to be reviewed."

Nantucket Building Commissioner Paul Murphy also declined to comment specifically about the appeal.

While Surfside Crossing has been hotly debated on the island since it was first proposed in 2018, the state Housing Appeals Committee approved the developers’ 156 condominium unit proposal in September over the objections of the Nantucket Land Council, along with a group of neighbors and community members known as Nantucket Tipping Point, and at the time, the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). The HAC's ruling vacated the ZBA’s decision to permit a scaled-down development of 60 units and requires it to issue an amended comprehensive permit allowing for the 156 condominium units of the development to move ahead.

The plans for Surfside Crossing were filed under a state statute known as Chapter 40B, which allows developers to bypass local zoning regulations and increase density if at least 20 to 25 percent of the new units have long-term affordability restrictions.

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