Special Residential Development Continued

Oh the dog days of summer when folks take a break from the hubbub of life by going on vacation before school resumes, leaving many town boards scrambling to make quorum. Well maybe not scramble so much as accept that reality as articulated by Rochester’s Acting Planning Board Chairman Gary Florinda, “Not much going on here tonight.”

On August 14, with an agenda that included just one public hearing, which is being continued, the Planning Board members present – Florindo, John DeMaggio, Lee Carr, Chris Silveira – and Town Planner Steve Starrett had plenty of time to engage in informal discussions regarding matters deemed “old business.”

But first was the business of continuing, once again, an application for a Special Residential Permit submitted by REP Properties represented by John Churchill, Jr., JC Engineering, for property located off Rounseville Road. The proposed residential 22 duplex unit project is described as an age-restricted community.

Florindo read a letter submitted by the applicant requesting a continuance until August 28. The board approved the continuation, at which time they concurred they would have a quorum to hear the application, as currently, with one member needing to abstain, a quorum would not have been achieved.

Starrett shared that meetings with Shawmut Associates LLC/Zero Waste found that roadway work on Phase 1 had progressed, some additional drainage work may be needed, and that the developer was on track.

Florindo said that he wanted to plan a site visit before the October 5 due date placed on a construction punch list to ensure that all construction issues identified were complete or near completion. Board members were in agreement.

Also moving in the right direction, Starrett said that the Connet Woods project located off both Ryder Road and High Street was progressing. The planned 115-unit housing development planned by Edgewood Development LLC now had about 60-units completed, he said.

Starrett also said that he was working with Ken Motta of Field Engineering, Inc., regarding the punch list. “They are trying as best they can to meet goals,” he said of the developer’s progress on Phases 5 and 7 of the project. It was disclosed that the development has been under construction with stops and starts for the past decade.

Florindo said he wanted to stay on top of projects like this to keep the board members informed and the projects moving forward.

Regarding the town’s participation in the Green Community Act, Florindo asked Starrett to provide GIS mapping of the town’s closed landfill to ascertain if the property was level enough and large enough for a municipal solar array.

Member DeMaggio asked if the town had to abide by its own solar array bylaw. Florindo said he wasn’t sure, but he wanted to pursue the landfill’s viability for future discussions.

Starrett commented that the board should prepare itself: “You’re going to see four solar applications soon.”

The next meeting of the Rochester Planning Board is scheduled for August 28 at 7 pm in the town hall meeting room.

Rochester Planning Board

By Marilou Newell


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