Shared Driveway Permitted on Route 6

            Reconfiguration of a driveway’s connection to Route 6 is in the works, and that invariably draws an extra dimension of scrutiny from municipal vetting boards because anything Route 6 related, especially residential, must be examined in the dynamic context of an old highway that itself is the subject of plans for a massive overhaul in design and infrastructure.

            In a public hearing held Tuesday night, the Marion Lands Trust’s application for a special permit to construct a common driveway to serve two lots at 371 Wareham Street was unanimously approved by the Marion Planning Board.

            As prescribed by Planning Board Chairman Will Saltonstall and voted 6-0 in favor, a decision letter to be finalized midweek will state that the applicant meets the criteria of Section 230-8.9, F1.6 and will fulfill three special conditions: The applicant must seek a curb-cut approval with state Department of Transportation; prior to construction, the applicant must submit a common-driveway maintenance plan for the board’s approval; and the applicant must submit all documents for water and sewer connections.

            The applicant’s representative, Matt Leone of engineering firm Schneider, Davignon and Leone, Inc., explained that the special permit sought on January 18 applies solely to a new driveway that will be shared by the two lots directly behind 369 Wareham Street which consists of an office and apartments.

            The present design allows the residents of 371 Wareham Street to drive through the 369 Wareham Street parking lot to access the property out back. An Approval Not Required (ANR) application will divide the back lot (371) into two lots. The parking lot connection will be blocked, and the two back lots, both single-family dwellings, will share a separate driveway to their residences.

            Planning Board member Chris Collings asked Leone if a fire truck can turn around at the third residence and if the Fire Department is satisfied with the T-shaped, hammerhead turnaround.

            Saltonstall clarified that subdivision rules do not apply to a common driveway, but Fire Chief Brian Jackvony had no comment on the application. Leone reminded the board that only the shared portion of the new driveway was being considered for the special permit and that further plans would develop and return to the Planning Board for their approval.

            “That may not be part of the requirement, but I would think you’d want to be able to get a fire truck close,” said Collings.

            Leone acknowledged the concerned and emphasized that the plans as seen around the shared segment of the driveway were “purely conceptual. … What you see will be required to go back to more permitting (and more adjustments,” Leone explained. “The owner of Lot 2A will be responsible for all the construction, development and maintenance of that driveway.”

            Member Eileen Marum was concerned if a gravel driveway would be solid enough for a fire truck or should the wheels of a large vehicle leave that surface, how the surrounding ground would handle the weight.

            Marum also asked about the condition of a culvert shown on the plan. Leone said the culvert is functioning but has been proposed for replacement, according to Dave Davignon’s construction plans.

            An apparent typo in Davignon’s narrative using the letters HMO became a topic of discussion because, as Marum pointed out to the board, the letters theoretically could be mistaken as an abbreviation for “House and Multiple Occupation,” which refers to a scenario in which few to several unrelated people share a house. “If this is going to be a rooming house, we should know,” she said.

            Leone insisted and property owner David Croll jumped into the fray to confirm that what was intended should have indicated “homeowners association” and as member Norm Hills pointed out, made contextual sense because the subject at hand was the responsibility of shared-driveway maintenance between two separate homeowners.

            As the argument dragged on, Hills asked Croll if he considers approval critical at this meeting. Croll answered, “It’s pretty important Norm.”

            Croll promised Marum she would have clarification on the “HMO” typo in the presentation by Wednesday. The board voted unanimously (6-0) to grant the special permit.

            The next meeting of the Marion Planning Board is scheduled for Monday, February 7, at 7:00 pm.

Marion Planning Board

By Mick Colageo

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