DRACUT — The Zoning Board of Appeals has unanimously approved the variances necessary for the Genesis Healthcare project to move forward.
The board approved the variances at its Thursday night meeting, marking another hurdle cleared for the $26 million health center planned at 55 Loon Hill Road.
“The ZBA did an outstanding job vetting the project through a series of questions and clarifications,” said Town Manager Jim Duggan. “I sincerely appreciate the ZBA’s unanimous support. I’m thrilled we are one step closer to a groundbreaking in October.”
Reached by phone Friday morning, ZBA Chairman Scott Mallory said the minutes for the public meeting were being prepared and would be provided to the town clerk. When pressed further for details, Mallory said he was not comfortable discussing the rationale for the vote and deferred all comment to Duggan.
The variance approvals come three weeks after residents at a Special Town Meeting overwhelmingly supported rezoning a portion of the project’s land from residential to commercial. The town needed a minimum of 250 registered voters to reach a quorum to take a vote, and more than 600 attended.
The 73,000-square-foot skilled rehabilitation facility is expected to bring more than 200 jobs and over $370,000 in annual tax revenue to Dracut.
The health-care facility had originally been slated to be a marquee development for Lowell’s Hamilton Canal Innovation District. Duggan announced in May that he had secured a deal to bring the project to Dracut after learning the company’s deal with the city had fallen through.
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