Site Plan for 27 Single-Family Homes Gets Board OK

The Planning Board has approved the site plan and a Conditional Use Permit for the construction of a subdivision on Mammoth Road.

The site plan for “School House Square” features 27 single-family, detached housing units of various designs, ranging from 2,000- to 2,500-square-feet, according to Jack Szemplinski of Benchmark Engineering.

The Board additionally approved a lot line adjustment plan for the property, which results in a three-acre lot to the north and a southerly 17.5 acre lot, which is to be developed into School House Square. The three-acre lot is not to be developed as part of School House Square.

The plan includes construction of an entrance called School House Road, as well as a small private driveway to be called Phillips Brook Lane, which will require a dredge and fill plan and Conservation Overlay District crossing. The Conservation Commission approved those requests on Jan. 6.

The plan includes 9,860-sqaure-feet of wetland filling, with 2,600-square-feet of Conservation Overlay District to be impacted.

The Planning Board approved a Conditional Use Permit for the project, as well as nine other waivers to the Site and Subdivision Plan Regulations to complete utilities on the site, at its meeting Jan. 7.

The nine waivers granted include a waiver from the minimum velocity in drain pipes, as the requirement is unachievable due to minimum pipe size requirements in the ordinance; from the minimum depth of cover for storm drain lines, as pipe lines in the proposal run cross county rather than under the proposed road; from a minimum 6-foot depth of cover for sewer lines to allow a 4-foot depth of cover; from a minimum 5-foot depth of cover for water lines to allow a 4-foot depth of cover; from a mandate that no certificate of occupancy may be issued by the Building Department until all on-site improvements are completed and inspected, with the condition that the wearing course will be placed before the certificate of occupancy is issued for the last five houses constructed; from the requirement that a right of way must have a width of 50 feet; from a traffic speed requirement for the neighborhood of 35 miles-per-hour to allow a speed of 25 mph; from the requirement the applicant submit an illumination plan; and from the regulations that limit the maximum driveway width for a single-family lot to 12 feet at the right of way.

Member Mary Soares asked if the developer considered including a play area in the site plan as the subdivision would likely attract families with young children.

Szemplinski said they had considered adding a playground, but could not find a suitable location for one and were concerned that over time it could become a “hang-out.”

Szemplinski said the Tennessee Gas pipeline right-of-way crosses through the parcel, but they have worked with the company as well as Public Works staff to ensure the plan minimizes impact to the high-pressure lines. All utilities will be over the lines and no blasting will be required in that neighborhood.

“One of the conditions of our agreement is we can have absolutely no encroachment on that easement,” Szemplinski said, noting it’s always a possibility the company could expand the gas line there.

“My concern is you’d have construction vehicles pretty much in your backyard,” member John Laferriere said. “While that construction is going on, that house is pretty much going to be a mess.”

Szemplisnki noted when construction is complete, the project will provide for nice landscaping of the property, adding any impacted property would be fully restored and the route wouldn’t cross near any important utilities on the site.

No abutters or members of the public spoke about the plan during the public hearing.

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