Teen Center Granted Special Use Permit
Marblehead For Teens was granted a special use permit by the Zoning Board Tuesday night.
The approval of the special use permit, which passed by a 4-1 vote, dismayed a small group of abutting neighbors who attended Tuesday's meeting to speak out against the "teen-managed teen center" because they worried about excessive noise, alcohol and drug use, late nights and increased traffic at an already dangerous intersection.
Appearing before the board was Marblehead For Teens' Executive Director, Molly Williams, of Marblehead, who assured members that every effort would be made to alleviate anticipated traffic problems and keep the noise down on the weekends.
The center's hours of operation, though tentative, were set by the board as Monday through Thursday from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.; and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The permit was granted on the following conditions: that two "right turn only" signs be placed at the entrance to the building's parking lot; that outdoor activity on the weekends occur no later than 9:30 p.m.; that trash be properly disposed of; that the center comply with the town's noise bylaw; and that any sub-tenants must also be nonprofit organizations.
The teen center is expected to cost nearly $300,000 per year to operate and "will be a cool, safe, and secure place for Marblehead middle and high school teens, as well for teenagers from other communities attending a Marblehead school, to spend time after school, on weekends, and during school breaks," according to a release.
The center will be “teen-managed and adult-supervised” giving youth meaningful leadership and life skills development opportunities - it will always be staffed by at least two adults during operating hours.