Sparks fly at DRB meeting

At the Development Review Board (DRB) meeting on Aug. 20, former Planning Commission Chair Brian Precourt asked DRB member Bill Stuono to recuse himself due to bias during a discussion of an application concerning a property on Point View Drive in which Precourt has an ownership interest. In making the request, Precourt stated that Stuono wrote a number of letters to the editor and postings on Front Porch Forum that were “critical of [his] character and ethics.” Stuono denied the allegations, saying Precourt “directly lied right now,” adding that he had never posted something about Precourt on Front Porch Forum. He then accused Precourt of saying “disparaging things about [him] to the Selectboard and now to this Board and to the Planning Commission” and said he would consider pursuing legal action against Precourt for defamation of character. He concluded that he would recuse himself from this application “as a courtesy” and left the room.
The application in question concerned merging three lots into two lots on Point View Drive. Under the application, lot 2 would be subsumed into lots 1 and 3, creating a new lot 1 of 2.37 acres and a new lot 3 of 2.34 acres, and the building envelopes would be changed on the reconfigured lots. The DRB directed the staff to prepare a decision approving the application.
The DRB also considered the final plan and conditional use application for the development of 2 triplexes and 3 quadplexes at 75 Northside Drive. The applicant had submitted updated plans, including landscaping and lighting plans, and reflecting changes requested by the Town Fire Chief. After discussion focusing largely on open space and pedestrian access issues, the DRB directed the staff to prepare a decision approving the application with conditions that a revised open space plan be presented, that the driveway be widened in certain areas in the interest of pedestrian safety, that only native trees be used in the landscaping, and that additional trees be planted along the boundary of Mrs. Jarrett’s property.
The DRB re-opened the hearing on conditional use and site plan applications continued from the Aug. 6 meeting for the redevelopment of two lots at 135 Northside Drive. The applicants intend to expand the building formerly occupied by Climb High and to build a warehouse with office space on the adjacent lot. A comprehensive landscaping plan was presented and discussed. The DRB asked that the planned Norway Maple trees be replaced with a non-invasive species which was agreed upon. The DRB also set as a condition that there be no arrivals or departures of deliveries between 9pm and 6am and that there be no overnight parking of running delivery vehicles or trucks idling between the same hours. The DRB then directed the staff to prepare a decision approving the application with these conditions.
Earlier in the meeting, the DRB approved two design review applications, one for adding a handrail to the front entry steps at 53 Falls Road as requested by Pill-Maharam Architects, and the other for the conversion of a garage to an entry mudroom at 910 Falls Road as requested by David and Susan McLellan. The Historic Preservation and Design Review Commission had recommended approval of both applications.