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Joyce Endee

McGinley Development moving forward

April 21, 2010
On Monday evening the Planning Board reviewed the progressing McGinley Development, presented by Jeff Lewis of Northpoint Engineering on behalf of Mike McGinley, who plans to build professional and retail buildings on Sawmill Road.

The plans were tabled during the Planning Board's last meeting on April 5, and although the board did not make an official vote on the three different applications presented before them this time around, Lewis said he would like to make sure the board is comfortable with the plans before he submits applications for necessary permits to the Department of Environmental Services.

In Lewis's proposal for lot two, a commercial cluster of professional and medical offices, he said his client was looking to build in a "future development area," already approved during a meeting last year. He said the parking layout, the lighting, and the landscaping is consistent with the overall site plan and with what is already approved on this particularly lot.

Lewis addressed wetland impacts and said that he would need to obtain a special exception from the DES for an existing crossing on the lot because of the brook, which runs through the site.

"This is really just an upgrade of the existing crossing a wetland impacts, so it needs a special exception," said Lewis last Tuesday night. "The drainage design in place is consistent and already existing (by the nearby bank and hotel)."

He said each lot has storm drainage systems and catch basins, which make for an underground water quality unit, able to separate floatable debris and sediment in the water before it is discharged.

"In the past, this was an efficient way to deal with the water treatment, yet there is a whole other level required no - although this system still meets the needs of pre-treament," said Lewis, who made a proposal for additional water quality treatment that meets AOT standards and filters out high metals and soluble nutrients.

He added that an alteration of terrain and wetlands permit is ready to submit to the DES, but he felt he needed to run the updated plans by the board first. Lewis pointed out that there is also a landscaping requirement on site plan regulations, and some areas will require more shrubs and trees.

Board Chair Polly Sanfacon asked if the entire development will be viewed as one whole association or one association for each lot, and Lewis said the development proposal will be considered one overall association. Sanfacon added that there will then be some "stipulations" in maintenance for those who become part of the association.

In Lewis's proposal for lot four, he said this development consists of three separate retail buildings, rather than medical buildings, about 16,220 square feet, and shares a parking lot with lot five, and has parking, a loading area, and "features" similar to the rest of the site plan.

"We do have wetland impacts; they are remnant wetland areas, which we are proposing to fill. They tend to flood up and they are low quality wetlands," said Lewis, who added that he is currently working with the DES on this portion of the plans, and presented recently presented these plans to the Conservation Commission.

"We are proposing a buffer restoration plan the brook has a higher value than the wetlands," said Lewis. "We have about 8,980 square feet of wetland impacts, and the brook is 11,800 square feet."

He added that the drainage system and water treatment system he spoke of earlier are also consistent throughout the entire plan.

Although the Conservation Commission has reviewed these plans, new member Diane Hanley spoke up at the meeting last Tuesday, and said the commission is still not fully "comfortable" with one or several buildings placements on wetlands.

"There are several positive aspects, such as the under pavement treatment system, yet the commission is not at the point where they can say they are completely comfortable. We don't have information on the quality of the wetlands (being impacted)," said Hanley.

She said she approves of the buffer restoration plan and treating the "run-off" of water with the water treatment device, although she questioned if this could sufficiently remove salt from the water. Once the Conservation Commission sees the permits being submitted to the DES, she said it should be easier for them to decide whether developing buildings on certain wetlands is damaging or not.

In Lewis's final application proposal, he said that lot five will consist of one separate retail building, about 8,400 square feet with a shared driveway.

"The intent of the building is to be carved up into smaller units for a series of retail uses," said Lewis.

He pointed out an existing crossing and waterline by the brook, and said he plans to restore the stream bed, and so on. Both drainage from lot four and five will be combined, while lot two's treated water will go back into the brook, said Lewis.

Members of the Planning Board suggested that Lewis consider more landscaping in this lot, in order to keep up with the aesthetics of the nearby bank, and not make an "eye sore."

McGinley clarified that he is not yet sure whether he will build on this development or sell it to someone else to develop on it, since the economy is unpredictable right now.

Martin Lord & Osman
Salmon Press
Garnett HIll
Varney Smith
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