safewise logo
78 Sunny

Planning Minutes 09/16/15-Public Hearing

Public Hearing
Date: 9-16-2015
Present: John Stirling, William Straub, Paul Steinhauer, Manley Gove, Kathy Connor, SMPDC

Warren Spencer – Absent

Mr. Stirling called the meeting to order at 7:02 p.m.

James Flynn, applicant, 169 Main Street
Matt Randall, Attar Engineering
Ken Wood, Attar Engineering
Christopher Cole, 173 Portland Street
David Meneely, 175 Portland Street
Tom Leach, 85 Dawson Street
Virginia Zavacky, 74 Goodwin Street
Stephan Stofanak, 4 Jewett Avenue
Wendy Rawski, 11 Bittersweet Lane
Bob Robertshaw, 128 Norton Street
Nora Irvine, 60 Bennett Lot Road
Mary Vaughn, 194 Portland Street
Mark Pendergast

PUBLIC HEARING: MSP#14 – 001 25 lot subdivision off Portland Street and Bittersweet Lane. Map 31 Lot 129-1, Map 11 Lot 150, and a portion of Ma 11 Lot 28 (Owner Tim Flynn)

Mr. Stirling explained that Public Hearing is informational. It is for the public and abutters to understand the applicant’s proposal and for the applicant to receive feedback from the public.

Mr. Flynn provided an overview of the project for the Planning Board and the public in attendance.

Mr. Randall spoke to the audience about project.

Mr. Cole asked about disruption of natural habitat, he feels that this is not an improvement and he is concerned about run off. In the past with any good rain or wind storm the run off lands in his back yard. He also asked about buffering for construction.
Mr. Randall discussed wetland in question, storm water analysis was conducted on area. In this case, they are putting in a berm to push water over a bit. For buffering, they are proposing it to be along Rt. 4 and a 20 ft. buffering zone for existing trees.

Mr. Meneely concerned about issue of water in the spring time. With previous construction of red barn up on the hill his shed in 6 inches under water every spring and with more construction it will only get worse. He is also concerned about privacy with new buildings behind his house and traffic on Rt. 4. He suggests that you enter development from Rt. 4 and exit out the other end of development.

Mr. Leach has 2 major concerns; traffic and water. Traffic as it is right now is backed up on Norton Street every morning what is going to be done to ensure that when that happens the fire trucks can get out, it will become a safety issue. He would also like to know where all that water is going to go?

Mr. Zavacky is also frustrated with traffic as it is now, and with addition of 25 new houses will only make it worse. She would also like to state that she was always told, that behind her property is unbuildable marsh land, she has tons of trees and turtles and she doesn’t want that torn down, how much of that is going to be gone? Also concerned about no sidewalks on Goodwin and moms, kids, etc. are on the street, at park and with new cars, would like speed bumps or sidewalks to help.
Mr. Randall explained that some of the trees will be cut to build the homes and rear yard.

Mr. Cole spoke again to ask what were the odds of the retention ponds on this project failing.
Mr. Randall explained that he does not know, but there is a plan in place to have regular inspections once built. Mr. Wood stated that retention ponds are one of the four practices recognized by the state and they have inspection and maintenance programs associated with them.

Mr. Cole also asked if storm water analysis was done during the spring/rainy season. Did they actually go out and witness what happens during a storm.
Mr. Randall explained that they used 3 different storm events of 2 yr. and 10 yr. and 25 yr. event.

Mr. Stofanak asked about what was on Jewett Avenue right now, with the last storm the water was up over the curb for days. Since golf course was built he has installed 3 sump pumps on property and with new development he is not sure that will hold.

Ms. Rawski is concerned about groundwater, is there a plan for drainage on properties to assist with groundwater.
Mr. Wood explained that homes on the north side of property will have gravity drains around the basements that are accounted for in storm water management plan.

Mr. Robertshaw spoke about traffic on Norton Street and wetlands behind their property. He is concerned about drainage ditch that is there currently, will it be taken away with construction? What happens if he gets water in his basement after construction?

Mr. Leach spoke again about concern of construction vehicles entering and leaving the development. Are they going to be on Dawson Street, he is concerned about safety with kids in area, etc.

Ms. Irvine is not an abutter and does not live in affected area, but as a citizen of South Berwick, she is also concerned about traffic

Ms. Rawski spoke again about placement about sidewalk and why was it changed from north side to south side of roadway. Will it impact water backing up into their garage. Also, has there been any discussion of existing Maple Trees, will they remain?
Mr. Randall explained that sidewalk was changed to lessen impact on her property. Would like to talk to her after meeting to discuss what trees she is talking about.

Ms. Vaughn wants to express danger of exit onto Portland Street. It is very dangerous to pull out onto Portland Street from that exit. Please consider it carefully before they use that as an exit.

Ms. Rawski concerned about sub division and HOA is going to be responsible to maintain sewer lines until town takes them over. Will that affect her as an existing resident.
Mr. Randall explained that her property will tie in to gravity system and won’t be part of HOA maintained system.

Mr. Pendergast explained that he has worked with and builds retention ponds, he has never seen a failure and it is a great way to keep water on the site. He feels that if the Flynns take out trees they will plant more. Yes, there is a traffic problem right now, but there is also an enforcement problem.

Mr. Wood explained that it will be the HOA responsibility to have a capital improvement fund that will allow them to inspect, repair and maintain retention pond on development. He explained that they look like rain gardens or a very shallow pond. They will be part of the landscape and protected by restricted documents with HOA.

Ms. Zavacky asked if this will affect her property value.

Ms. Rawski asked if the engineers see that all this drainage and retention ponds will help with existing water problems in neighborhoods.
Mr. Wood explained that it probably won’t, but might improve it a little bit, but will not solve it. Rules state that they can’t increase the flow and make the problem worse, but they have to be kept at or below existing levels.

Mr. Straub asked where street drainage will go.
Mr. Randall stated that drainage is directed to retention ponds via down sloped driveways and no piping

Mr. Cole asked who would be responsible if damage comes from flooding/failure of retention ponds.
Mr. Wood stated that it would be HOA, but if your property currently floods please don’t go to them expecting action.

Ms. Rawski asked about ownership of Bittersweet Lane.
Mr. Straub has requested applicant provide a legal review and then that will be given to town attorney to review. Ms. Connor stated that the applicant’s legal review has been given to Town Manager.

Mr. Straub made a motion to continue the Public Hearing to a date to be determined, leaving the public hearing open until it is closed at a later date, second by Mr. Steinhauer. VOTE: 4-0






Attested by:__________________________________

Date: _______________________________________