The Conservation Commission unanimously approved a dredge and fill permit application for the first phase of Woodmont Commons construction.
The relocation of an existing detention basin on the Market Basket site is necessary to make way for the construction of an access road to the future Woodmont Commons development, which is to begin at Garden Lane and wrap around the Market Basket Plaza before connecting with Pillsbury Road.
Jeff Kevan, a civil engineer with TF Moran, Inc., told the Commission the detention pond they plan to partially fill, built in the 1980s as part of the original Market Basket shopping center, sits in two lanes of the new access road.
“To create the alignment of the road, sidewalks in both directions, and the two lanes of the new access, we’re asking to fill a portion of the pond – 16,415 square feet of the 23,000-square-foot-pond,” he said.
To mitigate impacts, the project will also include construction of a new, 16,000-square-foot wetland pond at the opposite end of the site that will be superior to the existing man-made detention pond in its capacity and ability to treat the water it stores.
“The existing pond built in the ‘80s was mainly for detention. It’s probably providing some pretty good water quality with the vegetation,” Kevan said. “But this new pond will be a standing water pond, with detention above what the existing pond could hold, and it will provide a longer treatment time.”
Commissioner Eugene Harrington said a concern when the original detention pond was constructed was runoff to the rear of the Home Depot site across the street, where beavers were active.
“There was a concern about the detention pond not holding enough water,” he said.
Kevan noted the new pond will hold more runoff, treating more of the original development than before a portion of the original pond was filled.
Also part of the first phase of Woodmont Commons construction, the former Market Basket, a 73,081-sqaure-foot building on the site, is to be razed and replaced with a new 42,220-square-foot retail space. The site will be redeveloped to additionally feature three small commercial uses, such as a bank or restaurant, and two new parking lots.
The Conservation Commission on May 26 approved with a 3-2 vote a Conditional Use Permit to allow construction of the access road in the wetland buffer, with Harrington and Mike Speltz voting against the proposal.
Harrington and Speltz argued the developers should reconfigure the road’s alignment to avoid the 100-foot wetland buffer.
Impacts to the buffer are to be offset with the new detention pond described during the Commission’s July 28 meeting.
The Planning Board will have final approval on construction of the proposed access road in the wetland buffer and other site improvements.