Recurrent Continuances to Find Closure

            Mattapoisett Planning Board member Janice Robbins expressed concern during the board’s May 3 meeting over what she considers endless requests from applicants for continuances. A continued hearing for a modification to a Form C Definitive Subdivision filed by Eric Medeiros for property located on Selha Way was scheduled, but the applicant asked for an extension of the application until August 16, and another continuance of the hearing until June 7, thus inspiring Robbins’ question, “Is there any procedure for endless continuances?”

            Chairman Tom Tucker offered, in the absence of a formal procedure, that the board does have the right to deny a request for continuance of a scheduled hearing.

            Tucker also suggested that, instead of denying the current request, the board could give the applicant one more chance and notification that further continuances would not be granted, an act that would send the applicant back to square one in the hearing process.

            The board members were unanimous in their agreement to give Medeiros one more opportunity to have his request heard and a decision rendered, but no further continuances. The application has been on and off the Planning Board docket for more than a year.

            Also seeing a change to heretofore granted allowances to subdivision developers was David Andrews of the Bay Club. He came before the board to request a “lot swap” in lieu of cash or a bond surety placed on the required roadway construction.

            Andrews said that the development is nearing the end of its 19th year of build-out with some 12 lots remaining for sale. He requested the exchange of three lots on White Pine Lane for two lots on High Ridge held in lieu of an estimated $400,000 of roadway work now pending completion.

            When asked if a cash surety was possible, Andrews said that the Planning Board had always been good to the Bay Club, but if a bond or cash surety is needed, “We’re okay with that.” Robbins had stated that lots held do not represent a “real” assurance that roadways will be completed and that lots held are not the norm. Board members agreed to allow the lot swap this time, but requested bonds or cash in the future for Bay Club.

            The board rendered its decision on a Form F Covenant for 0 Randall Road Cranberry Cove for a one-lot subdivision. After a brief discussion of the covenant and maintenance plan submitted by G.A.F. Engineering, the plan of record was approved.

            A subdivision plan for property located off Park Lane and represented by Doug Schneider of Schneider, Davignon, & Leone, Inc. received a continuance to June 7, as issues of the railroad easement and the extension of Park Lane (a public way) remained unclear. It was ascertained with the help of Town Counsel Jonathan Silverstein that a decision on the extension of Park Lane, which would grant the applicant the right to add an extension on the existing public way, rests with the Board of Selectmen. Schneider said he would seek a meeting with the selectmen after the May 10 Town Meeting.

            Planning Board Administrator Mike Gagne brought to the board’s attention the fact that Tinkham Hill Road has never been conveyed or registered to the town. He said that his research had failed to confirm the road belongs to the town. On the eve of developing a municipal solar array at the closed former dump, Gagne said the investors are hesitant to move forward until the road is conveyed to the town. He said the issue requires the approval of both the Planning Board and the Board of Selectmen.

The Planning Board voted to accept the roadway contingent upon acceptance by the Board of Selectmen.

            Before adjournment, member Karen Field expressed concern over the fate of a long stonewall located on Crystal Spring Road on property owned by Ryan Correia. Tucker said he would talk to Correia about the possible preservation of the old stonewall.

            The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Planning Board is scheduled for Monday, May 17, at 7:00 pm.

Mattapoisett Planning Board

By Marilou Newell

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