Are we waiver-ing?
Commission feel that certain
zoning laws, such as
Most are well aware that
minimum street radii are zoning ordinances and subdivision
viewed as frivolous obstacles regulations are primarily
that can be traded off in place to both protect
as bargaining chips to limit the property owners
the size of a proposed and ensure public safety.
major subdivision. Here
The proposed Furtado
are we not sending a clear major subdivision application
message to future developers currently under review
that they too can get by the Planning
what they want by simply Commission requests several
threatening a larger development? waivers that if granted
The fact is that send some very mixed messages
the proposed subdivision to future developers.
application is for two home
One such waiver allows
sites and not four, the maximum the use of a newly-created
that could be private street, or "glorified
allowed, and that if the driveway,"with a street
maximum was applied for, name as a means to invent
it would be very difficult or lot frontages that are not
next to impossible for the otherwise available on a
planning board to grant public street. Where the
waivers that essentially use of private streets may
replace a conforming public be reasonable when applied
roadway and dead end to rural subdivisions, it
cul-de-sac with a non-conforming becomes a "highly questionable"
street or "driveway." practice when it
Here it is clear that involves subdivision planning
granting waivers to limit within our urban water
the scope of the development district. This "low cost"
is the wrong argument development tactic sets a
being presented by the dangerous precedent that
Planning Commission. may lead to uncontrollable
Instead, we as abutting future growth spurts that
property owners are called are not in the best interest
upon to prove our case of the town. At the Aug. 2
before the planning board public hearing for this subdivision,
versus the applicant proving it was difficult for
hardships that clearly certain planning board
do not exist. The subdivision members and others to
waivers currently refrain from using the term
under consideration will "driveway" when describing
relax and in come cases the proposed private
completely override street street.
design regulations even
We found it interesting
though the development that some on the Planning sites have adequate land area to fully comply with existing zoning and subdivision regulations. Whereas granting these requested waivers may be of great financial benefit to the applicant, it can and does create new hardships on abutter property, and more importantly, creates unnecessary substandard roads that may not be in the interest of public safety.
The planning board should be presenting these road-design waivers to the fire department and zoning board in advance as a means to clearly identify the full impact they will have if granted. Roger and Maryjane
Lavallee Luther Street