2006-08-10 / Letters to the Editor

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

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