Friday, April 6, 2007
Planning Board gathers data on Chestnut Estates
More detailed plans for the Chestnut Estates development for Rutland Street have been submitted to the Planning Board and were the basis for discussions at the public hearing for conservation cluster and common driveway special permits on March 26.
The applicant, the John Raymond Brown Estate, is planning a conservation cluster on 25 acres (Map 36, Parcels 23 and 26); originally a 3.5-acre house lot at 400 Rutland Street along with an adjoining 22-acre undeveloped parcel. The development will include six new house lots. The town allows a conservation cluster subdivision one extra building lot if at least 30% of the property is left undeveloped. Approximately eight-acres of trail easements and conservation restrictions are included under this proposal.
Engineer Peter Howe, of the firm Fay, Spofford and Thorndike, and the applicant's attorney, Martha Howe, responded to previous concerns of the Planning Board and of the Conservation Commission including the common driveway layout. Also given to the board were revised home site locations based on results of the location of septic system test areas, however, the applicant will not be involved with the actual building process.
A colored version of the subdivision plan showing abutting home locations is available for inspection at the Planning Board office at Town Hall, and provides information on sight lines to home sites and trail easements.
Martha Howe stated that the conservation land within the subdivision will be deeded to the town. Board member Greg Peterson expressed interest in an off-line meeting to discuss details of the deed, implementation of conservation restrictions (CRs) and language to restrict miscellaneous structures within trail easements on individual lots.
Since the development is using an innovative technique to manage stormwater runoff — a series of bio-retention swales — he discussed concerns that homeowners could inadvertently fill or destroy their function. To protect the swales, Peter Howe showed a mockup of a granite post engraved with "Conservation Land" on one face and "Private Property" engraved on the opposite face. He said that 15 such posts will be positioned at key locations to delineate the boundary. The posts will be three-and-one-half feet above grade. At three key locations, plaques will be attached to rocks. Each plaque will state: "Stormwater Management Plan: Chestnut Estates is a low-impact conservation cluster subdivision which utilizes bio-retention as a means of managing stormwater runoff. This drainage swale and others within the development are designed with specific soils and plantings to improve water quality of stormwater runoff before it enters the stormwater supply. Refer to your Homeowners' Association Agreement for inspection and maintenance procedures in order to maintain the integrity of the system to get the maximum environmental benefit of bio-retention."
The Planning Board requested additional information about the plan for blasting two areas where ledge must be removed to accommodate the common driveway construction.
The public hearing will be continued at 8 p.m. on April 9.
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