2010-05-27 / News

Planning Commission approves residential projects

By Iain Wilson

Three residential island projects took a step toward completion when the Planning Commission gave preliminary subdivision approval and voted unanimously to recommend the other two projects to the Zoning Board of Review during the commission’s May 19 meeting.

An application was presented to the commission on behalf of David Maurice for a project on Frigate Street. Maurice was seeking a special-use permit under section 314 of the town’s ordinance, which deals with high groundwater.

Maurice reduced impervious coverage by more than 25 percent and his representative, architectural designer Mary Meagher, assured the commission that, “This proposal is a model you can use for future use.”

Maurice requested setback relief, which the commission recommended that the Zoning Board grant, citing pre-existing, nonconforming conditions related to the situation of the existing house.

Finding that the applicant had reduced the impervious footprint of the building and had upgraded the septic system, the commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of the project.

Attorney Peter Brockmann then spoke to the commission on behalf of applicant Mark Smith, who was seeking a special-use permit under the same section of the town’s high water ordinance.

Smith wants to build a threebedroom house on the now-vacant lot.

A motion was made for recommendation, and the vote was approved unanimously with several findings of fact.

The findings of fact found that though the lot is challenging with regard to the water table, Smith had created a five-zone system to optimize water filtration.

He also met all the requirements for development in Sub District A, and Town Engineer Mike Gray ascertained that the project meets ordinance requirements.

Finally, the commission noted that Smith must use appropriate plantings for his proposed rain garden.

The commission heard next from Architect Peter Twombley, who spoke on behalf of the Marine Avenue Group, which sought a preliminary review and approval for a two-lot minor subdivision at Westwood Drive and Maple Avenue.

Twombley, who said the lots would be broken roughly into 24,000- and 46,000-square-foot lots, told the commission, “It’s really a very straightforward application.”

Also, he noted, “It’s consistent with the Comprehensive Plan.”

Agreeing with Twombly, the commission voted unanimously to approve the subdivision.

In other business, Bryer also presented amendments to the language in the introduction of the Comprehensive Plan survey.

Changes were made after the commission’s May 9 meeting, and included the additional specification that each taxpayer and voter must complete only one survey.

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