It took a telephone call from the parking lot of Old Colony Regional Vocational-Technical High School to get the Rochester Planning Board to endorse the relocation of the Countryside Child Care Center playground at Plumb Corner.
Board Chairman Arnold Johnson told consulting engineer Brian Walsh that the one obstacle holding up his approval vote on the project was receiving a formal notice that every plaza tenant was okay with the relocation, which will place the playground closer to the rear of the plaza businesses.
Specifically, Johnson wanted a letter or some formal notice from Matt’s Blackboard restaurant owner Matt Gurney saying that he would allow relocating the three dumpsters that now sit directly behind that business.
“We’ve been very transparent with the plaza owner,” Walsh said.
Johnson pointed out that doesn’t necessarily mean permission from the tenants, especially from Gurney. “I need a little more ‘comfort’ from him,” Johnson said. “He’s the one most impacted.”
The board took the unusual step of continuing the project’s public hearing so Countryside Child Care Center owners Schoen and Bonnie Morrissey could contact Gurney by telephone for an immediate answer. After circling the parking lot in their motor vehicle to get good cell-phone reception, the couple returned with Gurney’s texted answer: “Put the dumpsters anywhere. It doesn’t matter to me.”
With that done, the Planning Board unanimously endorsed the site plan to relocate and install the 5,050 square-foot playground of the Countryside Child Care Center at 565 Roundsville Road.
Johnson explained later the Village at Plumb Corner housing project necessitated a change in drainage that required moving the center’s play area.
Town Planner Nancy Durfee said she will now draft the site-plan review decision, which she will then submit to the Planning Board for its final approval.
In other action, the panel recommended the Select Board not exercise the town’s option to purchase the property at 529 Snipatuit Road, which is being taken out of 61A agricultural land protection. Towns are routinely allowed to acquire such parcels if they choose to do so.
The Planning Board’s next scheduled meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 14, at 7:00 pm at Old Colony RVTHS.
Rochester Planning Board
By Michael J. DeCicco