Concerns raised regarding parking at the proposed development


A public hearing on a proposed six-unit residential development on the site of a former gas station has been opened by the Planning and Zoning Commission to allow further comments from City officials.

On May 23, commissioners held the first public hearing on the proposed six-unit, one-building residential complex at 687 Main Street South. The property is located at the north corner of the intersection of Route 10 and Higgins Road.

City Engineer Marek Kement reviewed the application submitted by 687 South Main St. LLC, but did not submit his review to the Commission in time for the meeting, according to city planner Michael Glidden. Therefore, the Commission kept the public hearing open.

As proposed, the application calls for the construction of a six-unit building on the 0.69 acre lot. Each unit will be approximately 1,800 square feet.

Scott Meyers of engineering firm Meyers Associates PC said each unit will have a one-car garage at the rear of the building for parking. Eight additional on-site parking spaces will be available.

The request is a modification of what Ricci Construction Group originally proposed in 2020 before John Ricci withdrew the plan. The 2020 plan called for two buildings, one with four units and one with three units.

Meyers said the new plan will have a less impermeable surface on the site because there will be only one building. More grass will be put in place at the front and back of the building. The east and south sides of the building will have HardiePlank siding, and the west and north sides will have vinyl siding. Lights will be installed above each garage door and there will be recessed lighting under the porch of each unit.

The building will be built on a concrete slab, Meyers added.

After Meyers completed his presentation, commissioner Matt Bowman expressed frustration with the way Meyers submitted some responses to issues raised in the application. with Bowman noting that some of Meyers’ responses read “same as other”. This, Bowman believes, is insufficient.

“It has nothing to do with the previously approved request,” Bowman said. “This is a new request and a new process. It bothers me a bit. »

Other commissioners, as well as Bowman, were concerned that the units closest to the entrance on Higgins Road could cause traffic problems if residents parked motor vehicles outside the garage doors. Commissioner Rob Brucato said fire departments generally refuse to let cars park in front of garages for safety reasons.

Meyers, however, disputed Brucato’s claim, saying he had never dealt with a fire department putting a fire lane in front of a garage.

“I’ve developed many condo developments over the years,” Meyers said.

Commissioner Sean Strollo proposed that the first two units closest to the entrance not be allowed to have cars parked directly in front of the garage doors to eliminate potential traffic issues. Glidden noted that since the units will be rentals, the owner would have control and could enforce a no-parking policy in front of the garages.

“I would prefer the city engineer to look at this from a road safety perspective,” Glidden added.

While the public hearing was open, Strollo spoke out in favor of changes to the proposed development, including that the building will be farther from Route 10.

“Coming off of Higgins Road, it’s such a hard corner to see anyway, and when the gas station was there you couldn’t see anything,” Strollo said.

The public hearing continued until the June 13 Commission meeting.


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