City Council debate on the controversial proposal to rezone a property on Linden Street in Attleboro was stalled Tuesday night when the developer requested he be allowed to withdraw his bid. He said he needed more time to consider what to do with the 1.54-acre property.
At least 40 people attended the meeting that began 15 minutes late (no reason was stated), many of them holding signs carrying a slogan in opposition to the proposed rezoning of the property from industrial to general residence. With the rezoning, developer John Cloud of A. Caponigro & Co. could build a planned 21-unit condominium complex.
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Cloud needed the support of eight councilors to get the rezoning passed. Sources told Attleboro Patch the developer was informed prior to the meeting that there was not a guarantee he had enough votes on his side.
Although not directly asked if he had received word his proposal risked being rejected, City Councilors Jonathan Weydt and Richard Conti both questioned Cloud about whether something had happened in recent days to trigger the withdrawal request. He responded that nothing had happened.
Cloud's withdrawal request was the second one made in less than a week. His lawyer submitted one in writing to the city Nov. 30. Later in the week, Cloud submitted a letter rescinding the withdrawal request. And Tuesday night he was before the council in person, again asking for a withdrawal.
Conti called the on-again, off-again actions "highly unusual." Weydt called them "curious." Cloud said he was just a man weighing his options.
"This land is my future and I need more time to think about the rezoning," Cloud told the council.
The withdrawal request will go back to the council's zoning committee, which is headed by Weydt. The three-member panel could make a recommendation as soon as next week. This recommendation would go to the full council for a vote.
Cloud said among his concerns about the council voting on the proposal Tuesday night was that if it were rejected, he could not return with a new plan for two years. City Councilor Sara-Lynn Reynolds said she did not believe this was accurate because the Planning Board had voted 8-0 to recommend the council approve the rezoning request. Attleboro Patch is researching this issue.