Friday, October 27, 2006
Large septic mound at Coventry Woods worries officials
Frustration was evident at the October 23 Planning Board meeting during discussion of process and progress on the Chapter 40B condominium development on Concord Street. Board Chair David Freedman summarized prior efforts to communicate the board's concerns to the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) and to get a meaningful response. The ZBA has a public hearing scheduled for November 20, and Freedman solicited Planning Board members' comments to be formalized at its next meeting on November 13 after which he will send the comments on to the ZBA.
Speaking as an abutter to the proposed project, board member Michael Epstein stated that there was to be a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the developer and the abutters; however, the developer broke off all negotiations.
Joan Parker of Russell Street spoke even more pointedly, "It is astonishing to have your Selectmen support at Town Meeting a move to give $200,000 to the builder and to tell the town that there is a Memorandum of Understanding with the abutters.After the vote the developer 'took it all off the table!'" Parker continued. The developer seems to have reneged on his agreement and maybe this needs to go back to the Town to be reviewed on the legality of a vote partly based on an untrue premise?"
2,100 truckloads of fill
Board members weighed in with their concerns. Freedman strongly suggested the need of a Construction Management Plan. Member Greg Peterson agreed, noting that because of the scope of the project and the need for a septic field 23 feet above present grade, about 2,100 truckloads of fill will have to be moved. He said, "At 20 trucks a day that is four months of activity on the roads." Alex Parker of Russell Street said that his similar calculation was within 10% of Peterson's.
Planning Administrator George Mansfield later explained that the septic system mound would be located on sloped terrain and 24 feet of fill would be needed on the northwest side. There the elevation today is 180 feet and the final elevation at the top of the septic system mound will be 204 feet. On the southeast side, the top elevation will be 205 feet, but it is coming from an existing elevation of 198 feet, so there will be seven feet of earth added in that area. The septic system would be located behind the neighboring property at 515 Concord Street, and Mansfield thought the septic system hill might not be visible from the street.
Peterson raised the point of water demand for the project. In addition, a number of other items were mentioned, including: landscaping plan, lighting plan, preservation of stone walls, blasting plan. The board voted unanimously to send an immediate memo to the ZBA recommending that it require the applicant to submit a Construction Management Plan. A comprehensive list of other concerns will be discussed at the Planning Board's November 13 meeting.
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