Sub-division Complicated By Starts and Stops

The plan has been in the works since 2009, but after starts and stops over the past eight years, the sub-division planned for Old Mill Way and Hartley Road was back on track.

Gary Mills and DBA Southeastern Realty Development’s engineer Don Bracken met with the Rochester Conservation Commission on February 21 with five separate applications.

Bracken sought partial certificates of compliance covering the sub-division’s roadway and clearing that had taken place on the proposed three lots. In total, Bracken needed closure with the issuance of four certificates of compliance and approval to move forward with one notice of intent.

Commission member Daniel Gagne questioned how the commission could issue a COC for the roadway and stormwater management systems when the plans submitted did not give clear details on exactly what had been completed and what was pending.

Bracken said, “We can have a disagreement, but I think you have all the information.”

Chairman Michael Conway said, “If you want a partial, we need to know exactly what has been done and what is not complete.”

There was back-and-forth discussion on whether or not a new order of conditions, which Bracken would be seeking in the notice of intent application the commission would also be hearing, was the way to handle incomplete work on the road.

But both Conway and Gagne wanted everything on the plan before moving forward with the issuance of a certificate. Bracken said, “If I knew this commission better and knew that was what you wanted, I would have added that.”

Conservation Agent Laurell Farinon helped to shepherd a compromise to settle the stalemate.

Farinon suggested to the commissioners that they could accept a request for a continuance on the COC request for the roadway, but still move forward with the other three COC requests for the individual lots. After consideration, that was agreed upon unanimously.

Regarding the new notice of intent covering the completion of the roadway into the future sub-division, that too was continued pending small plan modifications to reflect engineering details. Both the roadway COC and NOI were continued until March 7.

Also coming before the commission was Charles Adams, 5 Bennett Road, with a request for determination of applicability for the eradication of invasive Japanese knotweed up to and including areas designed as no touch zones.

Adams said that a contractor will dig up affected areas and asked for guidance on locations within jurisdictional areas.

Commission member John Teal advised the process of hand digging to remove unwanted vegetation in the buffer zone and then application of weed killing chemicals through a process of individually painting the plant stems with weed killer.

Farinon said it would probably take more than one application to completely remove the weeds. Adams received a negative ruling that allows him to move forward.

The next meeting of the Rochester Conservation Commission is scheduled for March 7 at 7:00 pm in the town hall meeting room.

By Marilou Newell


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