They were well into a continued conversation during the May 7 meeting regarding a proposed cluster housing project on Chapel Road when Mattapoisett Planning Board Administrator Mary Crain said, “I’m not sure if the SRD (Special Residential District) had ever been recorded.”
The issue at hand revolves around whether or not the Planning Board and the developer can agree on a yield plan for the parcel. The Planning Board needs to consider whether or not a Form A plan that would utilize existing frontages would be acceptable according to bylaws and sub-division rules and regulations, or a Form C plan that would grant five smaller house lots situated primarily on uplands.
Representing the developer David Nicolosi was William Madden of G.A.F. Engineering who opened his remarks by saying, “I’m not sure how I got here tonight,” but continued by adding that Crain had invited him to return, allowing him to continue the informal discussion.
The parcel as described by Madden currently has two pre-existing non-conforming lots. This fact was confirmed when Crain produced a letter from the Building Department stating the same. But Madden reminded the board that his client was seeking a five-lot plan that could utilize dry uplands for a cluster home sub-division and leave intact natural wetlands saying, “We think it is a better plan.”
But the issue of unclear language in the bylaws versus rather straightforward rules and regulations in the sub-division document were a bit at odds with one another. On that point, the Planning Board members were in agreement. And then the issue of whether or not the 2002 SRD rules and regulations had ever been filed with Plymouth County further complicated the discussion.
Crain said she would research that as well as checking with town counsel on how the bylaws might be amended to include a housing plan such as the one being forwarded by Madden.
Planning Board member Janice Robbins was the most vocal as she had been during the previous discussion saying, “The bylaw is a little inconsistent,” but added that the project didn’t really qualify for the SRD rules because of the two Form A lots already on the books.
The wedge of land in question was created when the Route 6 layout was abandoned and the state of Massachusetts re-routed the highway to its current location. Chapel Road, which currently has a number of homes along it, intersects with Aucoot Road to the east and Route 6 to the west.
Pressing on, Robbins asked Madden about the type of homes planned, believing the cluster plan as previously discussed would include “affordable housing” stock. But Madden corrected that by saying, “We were talking about diversified housing units; we weren’t alluding to affordable housing units.” He said that if the Planning Board would not grant permission for the cluster-housing plan, the project would be more expensive given that wetlands replication would clearly be required by the Conservation Commission for conventional units.
“The decision we are trying to get to is how we can have five homes where the land is telling us they should be … smaller lots on uplands,” Madden concluded, adding, “Does the Planning Board have an appetite to do that?”
Beth Underwood and Steve Mack, residents of Chapel Road, voiced their concern that the parcel was wet and construction would cause drainage problems to existing homes and that summer time traffic along the roadway was already problematic – more cars equaled more accidents.
Crain and the board members concurred they had some homework to do with respect to the type of development they would be willing to formally review, and Crain needed to address whether or not the rules and regulation are even enforceable.
Madden said, “We have a pretty good sense of what the Planning Board members are thinking.”
The discussion was suspended for now.
Also coming before the Planning Board was Lee Castagnetti of Long Built Homes with a tree planting plan and associated restitution for property located at 167 North Street where trees had been cleared along the scenic byway.
Castagnetti, along with Tree Warden Roland Cote and members of the Tree Committee, described the planting plan for the residential lot as well as a restitution sum of $5,420 to compensate the Town for the error. Cote said the monies would be used to purchase trees that would be planted throughout the community at a later date. The plan was accepted as presented.
Brian Grady of G.A.F. Engineering came forward to discuss drainage construction; that is, repairs to drainage along River Road and Appaloosa Way that had been incorrectly installed last year. Grady said that work was nearing completion and that his client, Michael Solimando of Southeastern Building Corporation, would be requesting in the near future the release of the two remaining lots in the sub-division that had been held as surety.
Grady said the lots in question had already received orders of conditions from the Conservation Commission and permitting from the Board of Health for septic systems.
In other business, at the request of the developer Dennis Arsenault, the proposed Snow Fields Road sub-division hearing was continued until June 4.
The next meeting of the Mattapoisett Planning Board is scheduled for June 4at 7:00 pm in the town hall conference room.
Mattapoisett Planning Board
By Marilou Newell