The evening’s business for the Mattapoisett Planning Board was quick, but two important issues were discussed.
Board Member John Mathieu shared a recent conversation he had with Grant King, principal planner for SRPEDD. Mathieu had requested specific information from King on the amount of acreage in town that is either fully protected or in a limited protection status in an effort to help with land use planning. King reported that of the 11,000 acres that constitute the entire town, approximately 3,000 acres fall into a protected category. That represents 28 percent of the total. Mathieu said that his next question to King will be how much of the remaining acreage is considered unbuildable wetlands. Once those two categories have been established, the Planning Board can begin the long and complicated process of re-zoning considerations of some spaces for revenue growth.
Board Member Karen Fields asked if having so much land in a protected status would eventually impact the tax base. Both Mathieu and Member Ron Merlo replied that it has already negatively impacted the town’s ability to increase revenue.
Merlo wanted to remind residents that the public survey regarding open space needs of the community is on the town’s website. The town is seeking public input. In the absence of public consensus on land use, boards and committees involved in the process will be missing a critical element in making decisions that will impact the town for many generations to come. Merlo wants the public to know their input is absolutely necessary.
In other business, Brian Grady representing Michael Solimando regarding Appaloosa Lane came before the board to discuss the upcoming roadway and drainage project at this location. The board will provide Grady with text so that Solimando with his legal team can craft a homeowners’ trust. This trust will bind the owners to provide financial support of Appaloosa Lane for road maintenance into perpetuity. The road will always remain a private roadway. Having a trust will help to ensure the safety of the road for the residents and abutters with property located there.
The next Planning Board meeting is scheduled for July 1 at 7 p.m.
By Marilou Newell