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Twin Brooks apartment plan receives state environmental certificate

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Twin Brooks Golf Course in Hyannis, part of the property where developer LMC is proposing to build a complex with more than 300 apartments.

A more than 300-unit apartment complex proposed for the Twin Brooks golf property in Hyannis has received a state environmental certificate that eliminates the need for a longer state review.

To move forward, the development would still need approval from the Cape Cod Commission and the Town of Barnstable. But the certificate means the developer doesn’t have to submit a full environmental impact report to the state.

“This was a good result for us, for the project, and, I think, for the community,” said Dan Lee, division president for Lennar Multifamily Communities, or LMC.

Opponents say the 40-acre parcel should be saved for conservation and recreation.

“This is the largest remaining open space in the village of Hyannis, adjacent to very fragile creeks that flow into Nantucket Sound,” said Karen McGuire, president of the opposition group Save Twin Brooks.

The group has collected more than 2,300 signatures on a petition at Change.org.

McGuire said the group is aware of the need for more housing on Cape Cod, but they believe Twin Brooks is the wrong place for it.

“Our concerns regarding traffic, density, preservation of green space and wildlife habitat and the lack of economic benefit to the town remain the same,” she said.

Instead of apartments, the property could have a picnic pavilion and playground — important amenities for adjacent neighborhoods where some residents have no backyards, she said.

The certificate from the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs indicates that the golf course is located within an environmental justice population, meaning one that has experienced an environmental burden based on income, language, or minority status — in this case, the latter. The minority population nearby is nearly 47 percent, according to the state.

LMC voluntarily filed for review under the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act, known as MEPA.

The MEPA certificate should reassure neighbors that environmental professionals have reviewed the plan, Lee said.

“There’s still plenty of scrutiny, comments, public hearings, and debate to come,” he said.

Lee said the apartment complex will use less harmful fertilizer than a golf course, plant more trees, and restore wetlands.

But it will add a significant amount of impervious surface. The plan calls for 13 residential buildings, a clubhouse with fitness center and pool, 468 resident parking spaces, and additional parking for staff and visitors.