Studio officials show residents how 30- to 40-foot-high, tree-lined earthen berms that would screen any view of studio sound stages and mute any noise from inside.
By Tamara Race
GATEHOUSE NEWS SERVICE
Aug 26, 2008
PLYMOUTH — Plymouth Rock Studios officials wowed planners and residents and did it without special effects, stunts, song or dance.
Studio officials showed residents how 30- to 40-foot-high, tree-lined earthen berms along Long Pond Road and Bump Rock Road would screen any view of studio sound stages and mute any noise from inside.
They also gave an overview of their intended design strategies for the entire Plymouth Rock Studios site.
Alex Fernandes, architectural designer for Plymouth Rock Studios’ design firm Gensler Associates presented a video montage of his design ideas and inspirations to make the world class studio a unique destination nationally and internationally.
The presentations drew praise from both planners and residents.
“This was a terrific presentation,” planning board member Malcolm MacGregor said. “I hope we can fashion the regulations and laws to make it a reality.”
“It was magnificent,” board member Paul McAlduff said. “That’s what we want from you: magnificence.”
Leon Lopes, who lives a mile north of the studio’s proposed Waverly Oaks Golf Course site was equally impressed.
“I think this was a turning point in the process,” he said. “Everyone in the room was stunned. It’s the first time we really got to see what things might look like.”
Lopes hoped the presentation would begin to win over critics of the project.
“No one could not like what they saw here tonight,” town meeting member and chairman of the precinct chair committee, Paul Luszcz, said. “Their intentions are wonderful. Now we have to write the laws that will reflect that intention.”
Luszcz said the debate over a special-permit versus allowed-use process still rages.
“I know it can happen,” he said. “And they (studio officials) have expressed a willingness to do so, but we still have a long way to go.”
Building the screening berms will mean moving lots of dirt on the site, but will not require any import or export of fill, Studio development director William Wynne told planning officials and the crowd of about 60 people.
Studio officials also intend to sink the large sound stage buildings into the ground making them virtually invisible from Long Pond Road.
“I think we listened to the concerns of the Planning Board and neighbors and addressed them intelligently and artistically,” Plymouth Rock Studios founder David Kirkpatrick said.
Planning Board members will vote their recommendation on the proposed studio zoning bylaw Sept. 15.
Town meeting Oct. 27, will have final approval.
Planning board members will meet Wednesday, Sept. 3, Sept. 8 and Sept. 10 prior to the Sept. 15 vote.
Tamara Race may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.