Friday, July 2, 2010
40-acre River Road property may be divided
George Dimakarakos of Stamski and McNary Engineering informally discussed the potential subdivision of about 40 acres of land along River and Skelton Roads at the Conservation Commission (ConsCom) meeting on June 24. Elizabeth Elliott Platais and Maris Platais live in the historic Elliott house at 291 River Road and indicated they hope to preserve the open vistas and other important features of the land.
Dimakarakos presented two scenarios. The first would divide the property into eight lots, with six accessed off River Road through the existing pasture. The other, which Dimakarakos indicated the family prefers, would extend an existing common driveway off Skelton Road to provide access to four of six lots.
This scenario would involve crossing a perennial stream and its adjacent 200-foot riverfront area and impacting about 450 feet of bordering vegetated wetland. Mitigation would be required; Dimakarakos argued that the Wetlands Protection Act Regulations could allow this to be provided in part with conservation restrictions on portions of the property. Commissioner Tricia Smith questioned this interpretation and suggested that Dimakarakos consult with the Department of Environmental Protection before proceeding. Overall the ConsCom indicated that it sees the value of the second scenario in preserving the vistas and protecting portions of the property from subsequent development. A portion of the property has been identified by the state Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program as both Priority Habitat and Estimated Habitat for one or more rare animal species. (See also article at right.)
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