Last summer, August 3 to be exact, developer Ryan Correia came before the Mattapoisett Planning Board asking what type of development option the town would like to see on the 21 acres he owned at 3 Crystal Springs Road.
As reported by The Wanderer in the August 8 edition, Correia discussed several subdivision possibilities.
“The conceptual plans as described would include eight single-family homes on large lots in the towns RR80 district. Those homes would have 3 to 4 bedrooms and two or more baths serviced by septic systems. But Correia said he wanted to plan the project that “…the town wants.”
Correia said, “This concept is a by rights projects, but we could look at 40B housing or senior units also.” He said before his team invested in a variety of development options, they wanted to hone in on what the town would find most acceptable.
“There are massive resource and wetlands in there,” said [engineer Nyles] Zager said of the parcel. He said that the single-family concept versus cluster units, duplexes, apartments, or condominiums would, “Fit the land with ample open spaces.” But other designs were not out of the question he stated. Zager noted that multi-unit designs would mean far more engineering and time given the wetlands on the property and that it is an area significant to Massachusetts Wildlife’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program. “These single-family homes will be designed to fit into the natural landscape,” he said.
The subdivision concept as presented would include three lots with frontage on Crystal Spring Road and a roadway with cul de sac for five more. “But we are looking for your input,” Ryan reiterated.
Several board members commented that affordable housing was something the town needed with member Janice Robbins saying later in the discussion, “It seems clear we need more affordable housing in Mattapoisett, this plan will just be more homes not affordable.” “Cluster housing done right could be very affective,” she continued. Member Karen Field clearly stated, “We need 40B.”
While the board members agreed that affordable housing was needed, where such housing should be placed remained an open question.
Now, on December 21, Correia had made his decision to move forward with five single-family homes priced at market rates. Multiple waivers affecting the type of access roadway needed for the two lots are required to achieve what Zager called the best plan for Correia financially. “Before we go further, we need to ask the board about waivers,” said Zager.
When asked by board member Janice Robbins exactly what waivers they would be seeking, Zager responded, “Nearly all of them.” He said that the plan would eliminate an additional three lots, possibly making the project as proposed more acceptable, given that wetlands would not be as affected by development. “The remainder of the land would remain open space.”
Chairman Tom Tucker asked Zager to confirm with the Fire Department the type of access needed for fire trucks. The board asked Correia to return with fully executed plans and waivers required. A hearing date was not set at the end of the informal discussion.
More stumbling blocks prevented a proposed roadway improvement project for an existing subdivision from moving forward when Steve Gioiosa of SITEC Engineering returned to the board.
At the December 7 meeting, the board had asked Gioiosa to obtain confirmation from the Fire Department that the proposed improvements were acceptable. Robbins had also asked for a complete subdivision drawing to get a full picture of the entire subdivided area being serviced by the roadway in question. Those drawings promoted more questions than answers for Gioiosa.
Robbins said of the submitted documents, “The 1970 subdivision created five lots on Selha Way, but the westerly side was not part of the subdivision, so it’s not legal for those lots to use Selha Way.” She said that this discovery was “an impediment to approval” of the requested site plan amendment for roadway improvements.
Gioiosa said that such matters were not within his purview and that he would need to talk to his client, Eric Medeiros, and his attorney for further guidance.
Robbins advised Gioiosa, saying, “This lot was never part of the subdivision, and now you have an amendment to the subdivision. I hear you that this is a road improvement plan, but you have to show this lot— the whole subdivision— as you would normally.” She went on to say that, as presented, the road was not in a recordable format and added, “Once you get the right of access, you could amend the subdivision. You need legal access before you can get approval.”
The hearing was continued until January 4.
Also continued until January 4 was a continued hearing for Randall Lane, LLC for the construction of a solar array.
The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Planning Board is scheduled for January 4 at 7:00 pm.
Mattapoisett Planning Board
By Marilou Newell