November 21 2014

Planning Board Recommends Against Wetland Zoning Change

By: Rich Hosford

The Planning Board voted to recommend against a proposed zoning change of a wetlands overlay district that was put forward by a property owner. 


The area in question was a set of parcels in the area of County Road and Arnold Terrace. The homeowner, who stated he is interested in building a subdivision, wants a designation of wetlands made in 1977 overturned by Town Meeting. The Planning Board held a public hearing on the issue to get public feedback and to decide whether it would recommend for or against the proposal to Town Meeting members. 


The property owner said that both a private firm and the Conservation Commission determined that the part of his land he wants to develop is not in fact a “jurisdictional wetland” and asked the board to recommend that Town Meeting remove it from the wetland designation. 


Neighbors argued that the land is very wet and that they are afraid that if the area is developed, water runoff from the subdivision would make their property wetter and would raise the water table. Many of them deal with basement flooding. 


The applicant said his engineering team would ensure the project did not have any adverse effect on abutter’s property and that the project could actually make the wet situation better for them. 


The Planning Board however sided with the neighbors and voted 4-0 to recommend against the change, with three members abstaining. 


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