Tewksbury has settled its longstanding complaint with local real estate developer/landlord John Sullivan, over zoning violations at the Ames Castle property on Catamount Road.
The Lowell Sun reported that Sullivan has signed a settlement with the town that will require him to pay $26,500 and empty the building of all rental residents within 12 months.
Tewksbury had filed suit against Sullivan in 2010, accusing him of violating a 1999 court order, which had required him to covert the historic property back into a single-family home, as it was zoned for.
Town Counsel Charles Zaroulis told The Sun that a settlement was reached about two weeks ago.
Moving forward, Sullivan has three options. He can follow the court order and convert the building back to a single-family mansion, he could raze the historic building and create plans for a three-unit subdivision (which is allowed under the zoning) or he could take action to pursue a 40B project.
Sullivan had submitted plans to convert Ames Castle into 40B affordable housing units for the elderly back in 2010. However, the town took no action on the plans because of the outstanding court case.
Should he try to raze the property, he might run into opposition from the local Historical Commission _and Historical Society_. If he attempts the 40B project, timing could be an issue, as the town is close to achieving the 10 percent affordable housing threshold that would protect it from 40B projects.