Over 55 Housing Slated for Town Center

The open field beside Plumb Corner on Rounseville Road may soon be the location of a 24-unit age 55+ housing development.

J.C. Engineering filed a Form B Application for Approval of a Preliminary Subdivision Plan on December 12 and received approval from the Rochester Planning Board.

A Form B simply allows the subdivision of land according to the zoning requirements, yet no plan has been submitted or approved by the board.

J.C. Engineering representative John Churchill offered the board a preliminary rendering of the overall rough layout, “Off the cuff so you guys can chew on it a little,” he told the board.

“We’re trying to preserve as much open space as we can, minimize pavement, leave open an area up front,” said Churchill, perhaps for a clubhouse very similar in style to the one at The Pines at Hathaway Pond.

“It seemed like the board liked that design,” said Churchill.

The development, said Churchill, will likely feature duplexes with two-bedrooms, to total 88 bedrooms in all.

Churchill described the design of the duplexes as “very nice looking structures.”

A section of open space will be reserved for a playground for the neighboring daycare, to which Planning Board Chairman Arnie Johnson calmly commented, “Cool.”

The first time Churchill met with the board last month, the tone was more contentious, especially after Churchill questioned the board’s ability to interpret and properly apply its own bylaw governing that property.

This meeting was markedly more civil.

Upon approval, Churchill thanked the board.

“And we’re going to move on with an over fifty-five [development],” Churchill said.

In other matters, the informal meeting with Outback Engineering for Madeleine and Theodore Monteiro, Trustees of the Monteiro Family Trust, for a Special Permit for a back lot got somewhat complicated after the Outback representative explained that the lot is split between Middleboro and Rochester, with the house being built in Rochester while the frontage and driveway is accessed via South Street in Middleboro.

The applicant is seeking one buildable lot on the 41-acre parcel, but as Johnson perceived it, the applicant should simply try to obtain a building permit from the Town of Rochester before any further engineering work is done.

“Because it’s already a lot that lies in Rochester and has access in Middleboro, so as far as I’m concerned there’s nothing for us to do here,” Johnson said.

The applicant has already filed for the Special Permit, and the hearing is scheduled for January. As the applicant gathers further information on where to go next, Johnson said the hearing could either be continued or the applicant could withdraw the application if it was no longer appropriate.

“They’ve got nothing to lose,” said Johnson.

The public hearing for the large-scale solar farm at 453 Rounseville Road for applicant Borrego Solar Systems was continued until the next meeting at the applicant’s request so the board’s peer review engineer’s comments pertaining to drainage could be addressed.

The next meeting of the Rochester Planning Board is scheduled for January 9 at 7:00 pm at the Rochester Planning Board.

Rochester Planning Board

By Jean Perry


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