Scenic Road Permits Granted by Planning Board

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Two Scenic Road Permits were granted unanimously by the Planning Board during their August 11 meeting, one for the removal of a tree for construction and the other for the temporary widening of a stone wall.

In the first issue discussed, the Board met with Tree Warden Paul Gleason and Derek Dube from PRC Builders to request the removal of a 14 inch pine tree at 44 South Mill Street. A house is being built on the property with the foundation currently finished. The tree in question is healthy, but in the path of the planned driveway and would cause some line of sight issues if it were left in its place. No trees along the scenic road will be taken down.

“The driveway construction will without a doubt kill it, so I have no objection to the removal. The damage that will be done to the root system will be significant,” said Gleason.

Since there are many trees along the road, Board members Claire Wright and John Ferrari agreed that the character of the road would not be affected, but some compensation should be made for the loss of a healthy tree. Board member Matthew Wade also felt that the loss of the tree would not have a significant impact on the vicinity, but some compensation might not be required because of all the other trees in the area. There were no objections from abutters who own the land around the property.

The Board approved the plan unanimously with the condition that $300 be given as compensation to the tree planting gift fund. Gleason stated that he could find a spot along the street for the new tree, and construction of the home will continue once the tree is removed.

In the next issue, Mike Shepard, owner of a 26 acre lot at 136 Spring Street, discussed temporarily widening an existing stone wall opening on the scenic road to allow construction vehicles and other necessary equipment to access the lot. The lot will be sold to Shepard’s son for the construction of a house. There are no setback issues with the lot as the house is set back 100 feet from the road. Currently, the opening in the stone wall is 16 feet and will be widened to 20 feet for about one year during construction. At that time, the stones removed will be placed back in the same general location and the opening will be reduced once more.

Another portion of the stone wall had been previously damaged, and Shepard proposed repairing that area as well. For materials, stones will be taken from other excess stone walls within the property. No trees will be cut along the street, but trees on the property will be cut during construction.

The plan was approved unanimously by the Board with the conditions that the wall opening be narrowed again after construction, that the existing damage be repaired and that any stones moved will be used on the wall.

To watch the full meeting, click here.