Development Review Board considers Webster Road development

Many residents of the Webster Road neighborhood turned out for the Development Review Board (DRB) meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 21 for the Sketch Plan Review of a nine-lot subdivision at 93 Webster Road.

Under the application, the existing home would be converted into a duplex, and six single-family lots, one duplex lot, and an open space lot, would be created within the current two-acre parcel. Consideration of this application, the first received under the Form Based Code, had been continued from a previous meeting. DRB members subsequently made a site visit to the property.

DRB Vice Chair Mark Sammut, who was presiding due to the absence of the Chair, noted at the outset of the meeting that the DRB had no authority to amend the Form Based Code because that was the responsibility of the Planning Commission, while the DRB’s role was to ensure that requirements of the Code were met by the applicant.

Neighborhood residents were generally concerned about the increase in traffic such a development would bring to the area, but more specifically focused on what Ms. Collins called “the road to nowhere,” a proposed future road running parallel to Shelburne Road north of Webster Road depicted in the Form Based Code Overlay Map and replicated in the application.

As currently drawn, the road would cut through many neighbors’ properties, and they were opposed to it. DRB member Judith Christiansen suggested that perhaps the requirements of the Code could be met by the applicant granting rights-of-way to the town for the future construction of the road, but that the applicant need only build a temporary road to serve the proposed new residential lots at this time. In the end, consideration of the application was continued to the DRB’s meeting on Nov. 2.

The DRB also considered and approved a Subdivision Final Plan Amendment Application filed by Graham Goldsmith for the Shelburne Green complex at 6221 Shelburne Road. Due to the needs of a tenant, the owner was requesting approval for a new driveway area, a new loading dock, a new covered porch area, a new concrete block retaining wall, and a chiller pad. Residents of the adjacent Green Hills Drive had no objections to the new improvements, but rather expressed their concern about heightened traffic through their neighborhood because motorists traveling north on Shelburne Road use Cynosure Drive at the northern boundary of the complex to cut through to Marsett Road on Green Hills Drive. They asked that traffic calming measures such as speed bumps be installed or an electronic gate be erected or the curbing reconfigured to prevent motorists from using Cynosure Drive as a shortcut. Dave Marshall of Civil Engineering Associates, speaking on behalf of the property owner, noted that Cynosure Drive is owned by Ray Pecor and thus Goldsmith is limited in the measures that he could take to ameliorate the situation. Sammut encouraged the Green Hills Drive residents to ask the Town Manager and the Selectboard to install speed bumps. The DRB then approved the application with the condition that adequate screening be provided.

In other business, the DRB approved:
A Final Plan and Design Review Application for a two-lot subdivision at 1056 Falls Road, a property owned by Elizabeth and Jeremy Smardon, in order to accommodate the construction of a second residence on the site. The Historic Preservation and Design Review Commission had recommended approval of the application.

A Subdivision Sketch Plan Application filed by Elisia Laramee for a two-lot subdivision at 653 Bay Road. A new single-family home is planned for the second lot.

A Subdivision Final Plan Amendment Application filed by John and Amy Saar to relocate a driveway at 3735 Harbor Road on Shelburne Point. A previously approved driveway was never constructed.

At the beginning of the meeting, Sammut welcomed Norm Blais, a newly appointed alternate to the DRB.
The next meeting of the Development Review Board will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 5 at 7pm in the Municipal Center.

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