Fire Suppression Key to Self-Storage Plan

            The Rochester Planning Board continued the public hearing into the Site Plan Review application for JPF Development’s plan to construct a 15-acre, self-storage facility with seven storage buildings and one office structure within the Industrial District at Kings Highway and Route 28 after focusing on one lingering question: What will be the project’s fire-suppression system?

            The project’s engineering consultant, Rick Charron, said a fire-protection engineer has told him a sprinkler fire-protection system is not required by state building code for this type of project, and the town’s consulting engineer, Ken Motta, has agreed with this.

            On Tuesday night, the Planning Board brought two high-profile projects one step closer to being approved.

            Board Chairman Arnold Johnson responded with questions: What type of fire suppression would be put in place instead of sprinklers? A cistern system? Does the town Fire Department agree with what state code requires there?

            As the board approved the continuance, Johnson said the panel will get the full answer to whether fire suppression is required for such a facility in time for its next meeting on Tuesday, March 12.

            Before this vote, Charron reported a new calculation, that the 15 buildings will hold a total of 330 storage units when they are fully constructed. He said the applicants are willing to be compliant with any conditions the town may ask of them. They will be willing to allow an easement across part of the property for abutters should public water become available in that area, he added.

            The board then came even closer to approving BWC Snows Pond LLC’s application to build a solar-energy array and battery-energy storage on 12.55 acres of a 31-acre parcel at 0 Cushman Road in a Residential/Agricultural District, the Mattapoisett River Valley Watershed and Groundwater Protection District.

            The project’s engineering consultant, Andrew Hamel, reported that Motta has said the applicant has satisfactorily addressed his concerns about the plan’s initial design. As a result, the panel approved the bond amounts that the applicant must post and the waivers to town regulations that the applicant was requesting. Johnson said the board will have a draft decision ready for the March 12 meeting.

            The board set a decommissioning bond of $22,700, a two-year landscaping bond of $95,000 and a five-year maintenance bond of $16,000. Board member Ben Bailey sought and received approval for one revision to the requested waivers. The trees on the access road will not be cut down indiscriminately. The trees that will be cut will be flagged first so that Town Planner Nancy Durfee can inspect those trees first.

            The Rochester Planning Board will meet next on Tuesday, March 12, at 7:00 pm at Town Hall, 1 Constitution Way.

Rochester Planning Board

By Michael J. DeCicco

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