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Council initiates zoning change for Holy Trinity property

GREENFIELD — Town Council has initiated a zoning change for the Holy Trinity property between North and Federal streets, so that Baystate Franklin Hospital can buy it, raze the school and convent, and construct a doctors’ office building there.

The council voted Wednesday night to send the change to its Economic Development Committee and the town’s Planning Board. The two will either hold separate public hearings or a joint public hearing on the matter. That decision has not yet been announced.

Both boards will then send their recommendations to the full council.

The EDC and Planning Board have 65 days to hold public hearings and send their recommendations to the council, but plan to do so within the next few weeks.

By law, the council has 90 days from the time it receives the recommendations to vote a zone change, but hopes to do so within the next 30 days.

A zoning change requires a two-thirds vote of the council.

The sale of the property is contingent on the change — it would need to be rezoned from urban residential to health so that the hospital could build the offices there.

The sale does not include the lots where the middle school and church are located, though they would be included in the rezoning of the property. The zone change would affect the parcel from North to Federal streets, east to west, and from Beacon to Sanderson streets, north to south.

The school and church would be exempt from the change, unless either was sold at some point in the future.

Then, the new owners, unless it was a school or church, would fall under the new zoning.

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