A longtime Cannon Road property owner’s proposal for a conservation subdivision on more than 55 acres appears doomed following a call May 14 by the Planning and Zoning Commission for a resolution of denial.
The actual vote would take place at a future meeting of the board, which next gathers on May 29 following the Memorial Day holiday. There is still an opportunity for consideration and discussion, but it appears likely the commissioners will deny the controversial proposal.
Town Planner Bob Nerney will draw up the actual resolution, citing reasons including that requirements for non-interference with steep slopes and rock outcroppings were not being met, as required in the conservation subdivision regulations.
About 15 town residents attended the session at the town hall annex. There was no opportunity to speak, but they came to hear the discussion of the proposal.
The property is zoned for two-acre residential. The proposal is being made as a conservation subdivision, so a large amount of the land would be conserved while the subdivision would be in a limited area.
Planned are eight residential lots on 55.261 acres on Cannon Road. According to the application, the plan is to construct eight homes on about 10 acres of upland area and set aside the remaining 45 acres in a conservation easement.
The application was approved by the Inland Wetlands Commission last November.
The audience May 14 included Tom Gunderson, a member of the family that owns the property, who last month pleaded with the commission to approve the project. “Eight lots is not a maximum use. It would put 44, 45 acres into a preserve. It’s a good deal that honors the town’s public interests,” he said at the previous meeting.
There were speakers for and against the proposal at the public hearings that took place in recent months, drawing as many as 40 residents to speak and listen.
Those against the proposal voiced opinions including that it does not meet the standards in the regulations for conservation subdivisions, and that is the reason given for the resolution of denial by Scott Lawrence, chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission.
“We can only go by what is written in these regulations,” Lawrence told the commissioners, some of whom, like Doris Knapp, were in favor of the public access bonus that would come with the proposal.
There were serious concerns with the proposal, including three of the eight building lots and the steep slopes associated with them.
“My sense is a denial is in order,” Lawrence said.