Rice Lumber development virtually approved

By Carol Casey

At its meeting on Nov. 14, the Development Review Board (DRB) directed DRB Administrator Courtney Synowiec to draft a decision giving final plan and conditional use approval to the Rice Lumber development project.  The decision is likely to include more than four dozen conditions. Once approved by the DRB, the project will still have to go through the Act 250 process before any construction can commence. One sticking point was the timing of insuring connectivity between commercial lots 4, 5, and 6.  After discussion, the DRB adopted motions specifying that a Certificate of Occupancy for new construction on lot 5 could not be issued until a vehicular connection between this lot and the intersection at Longmeadow Drive is established, and that no Certificate of Occupancy could be issued for the last of these lots developed until full connectivity among those three lots is constructed.  Official approval of the decision is expected at the DRB’s next meeting.

The DRB also struggled with the request from Shelburne Green, LLC for modifying their approved site plan by adding two additional loading docks, a gravel driveway, overhead doors for the loading bays, and a storefront door from the gravel driveway. The DRB was concerned that trucks accessing the loading dock from Cynosure Drive would block traffic, especially emergency vehicles. The applicant noted that Cynosure Drive is a private road not intended as a through route to Green Hills Drive.  The DRB was also concerned that the proposed gravel drive and access door for Building B would create conflicts with neighbors. In the end, the DRB approved the request with the conditions that at least 18 feet of travel way must be maintained on Cynosure Drive at all times, the road could only be partially blocked for not more than 30 minutes at a time, and that the use of the gravel driveway to Building B would be restricted to the hours of 7 am to 6 pm on weekdays and from 8 am to 1 pm on Saturdays.

In other matters, the DRB approved:

• A design review application from Michael and Michele Noonan to rebuild a two car garage on the existing foundation at 1138 Falls Road.

• A design review application from Jay Pricer and Margaret Coan for entry way renovations, window replacements, new doors, siding repairs, a new deck, and fence replacement at 270 Bacon Drive.

• A design review application for a facade sign centered on the front gable of Trishia and Colm Thompson’s home at 245 Marsett Road.  The sign is for “In Good Hands Therapeutic Massage.”

• Demolition of a historic barn at 82 Shelburnewood Drive due to the fact that it has deteriorated beyond the point of restoration.

• A five-year time extension for the previously approved development of 22 residential lots and three common land parcels at the intersection of Dorset Street, Barstow Road, and Cheesefactory Road.

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


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