New design for Harrington Village unveiled

By Carol Casey

Due to unstable soils discovered at the site of the proposed Harrington Village, the entire project had to be redesigned. The new plans were unveiled at the Development Review Board (DRB) meeting on Aug. 15, with additional details presented at a special meeting on Aug. 21. Originally, five single-family homes and seven two-family homes were envisioned. Under the revised plan, the single-family homes have been eliminated and the two-family homes cut back to four duplexes. The complex will now include 84 residential units in eight structures instead of the 21 structures originally planned. A major change is the introduction of a 26-unit, three-story building. Other modifications to the plan first presented include a redesign of the senior housing unit, more clustered housing, fewer above ground parking places, and additional green space. DRB members reacted favorably to the new proposal, although some expressed concern about the sheer size of the 26-unit building, which will be some 175’ long and 35’ high. Architect Michael Wisniewski, however, pointed out some architectural features of the building, which will break up the mass of the building, and explained that since the structure is some 320’ east of Shelburne Road and nestled behind other buildings in the complex, one would never get a full view of its length. He agreed to meet with the Historic Preservation and Design Review Committee for their input and feedback before preparing a preliminary plan. The DRB voted to classify the property as a major subdivision, and will review the preliminary plan in mid-October.

The special DRB meeting also included a discussion of 15 findings of fact in regard to the preliminary plan application for the Rice Lumber Redevelopment project and setting forth the conditions of approval. The sketch plan for the project was discussed at public DRB hearings in December 2011 and January 2012; the preliminary plan was discussed at public DRB hearings in May, June, July and August. These findings of fact and conditions incorporated recommendations made by DRB members, the Historic Preservation and Design Review Committee, natural resources experts, and other Shelburne residents. After making some amendments to the draft presented at the meeting, the DRB voted to close the public hearing on the preliminary plan and directed the Vice Chair of the DRB to sign the amended version of the draft when finalized.

At their regular meeting on August 15, the DRB:

• Granted design review approval to Russell & Elizabeth Elkins to build a 6’ high, 40’ long privacy fence on their property at 1037 Falls Road, and to Ellen Arapakos to build a new 8’ x 8’ shed replacing the existing one at 259 Marsett Road.

• Approved a conditional use application for an accessory apartment at 36 Crown Road only if the owner of the property is in residence by Feb. 1, 2013. The current owner is deceased and an accessory apartment may be approved only if the owner lives on site. This conditional approval will allow the owner’s estate to market the residence as a home with an accessory apartment.

• Continued consideration of a sketch plan for a five duplex subdivision at 75 Northside Drive until Sept. 19 so that DRB members could visit the site.

• Granted preliminary plan approval for an eight lot residential subdivision at 1140 Webster Road provided that 11 conditions be met in the Final Plat application. The conditions include amending the landscaping plan, widening the road that will serve three of the southernmost lots, providing expert testimony attesting to the safety of a pedestrian crosswalk on Webster Road, and obtaining approval from the town for naming the new street Lillywood Lane.

The next meeting of the Development Review Board will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 5 at 7 pm in the Municipal Center.

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