Wallace Farm Updates Heritage Commission On Development Plans

Architect Daniel Skolski met with the Heritage Commission to provide updates to the planned Wallace Farm development on Perkins Road near Exit five. “The major parameters of the project are the same,” he told the commission at its Thursday, July 25 meeting. “We’re still planning on 240 units in 10 buildings, with 24 units per building. We have shortened the buildings a little bit by taking 8 feet off so we have more open space on the sides, and they fit a little better around the parking lot clusters.”

Wallace Farm is a workforce housing development, although only 50 percent of the units will be designated for workforce housing. Skolski said they are seeking a New England look, with gabled roofs and dormers. With the dormers, the buildings will have varied roof heights. Some units will have balconies.

“We are using vinyl siding and will have different textures and looks,” he added. “The lower siding will be horizontal and the siding in the gables will be vertical. There will be a stone section on the bottom.”
Two “earth tone” color schemes are planned, with each building having a darker section at the base, mid-tones in the middle and lighter color near the top. The buildings will have white trim.

“We’re going for a maintenance free exterior so we’re using vinyl siding and trim, solid PVC on the floor of the balcony and metal railings. We have stone at the bottom of the front facades up to the water table,” Skolski added.

The two main entrances will be recessed. He said there will be three one-bedroom units and 21 two-bedroom units per building, but the developer will continue to follow the market, as some people want a den or a home office.
“There seems to be a lot of interest in one bedrooms,” he said. “There are a lot of single professionals out there or couples that are professionals that maybe don’t have kids, and we are considering one bedroom units with a den,” Skolski said.

Commissioner David Colglazier asked about the suggestion made at a previous meeting that the windows be four over four or some configuration that was equal lights on the bottom as on the top. Skolski said they determined that it made the windows look too busy so they kept the four over one configuration. Civil engineer Karl Dubay said the site design had not changed.

“Perkins Road buffers are still going to be in place all the way along the length of the whole project, from one end to the other. We’ve been out there surveying and working with the family, and there was some delay with the recent rain,” Dubay said.

Chairman Art Rugg set a date for Aug. 22 for a landscape and building materials review special meeting.
Resident Anne Chiampa said she thought the ends of the buildings looked plain, but Skolski said that with the different textures of the vinyl, the horizontal and vertical facings and window placements would break up the monotony. He also said that out of the 10 buildings only two ends would be visible, and they would be behind landscaping.

Commissioner Sue Joudrey asked about lights and Skiolski said the buildings only had lights where there was an entry door. There would be no building-mounted floodlights or parking lights. “All parking lot lights will be shielded and are down lights. The lights are all nightscape friendly, all LEDs on shorter poles,” Skolski said.
Commissioner Tom Bianchi asked if the buildings were ADA compliant (Americans with Disabilities Act) and if the parking spaces that are ADA compliant would be sufficient.

“We’ve internally done a design which isn’t in this plan yet but we can include it for the August meeting,” Skolski said. “We are doing 9-foot-wide spaces on all the spaces and the striped out areas are also 9 feet wide, and those spaces will be right up to the front doors,” Skolski said. Bianchi asked about storage and Skolski said there was none in the attic but that there may be limited storage closet space off the hallway on the second and third floors.

According to Skolski, the farmhouse currently occupied by the Wallace family is part of the project in that there will be landscaping around it but there are no plans to do anything with the house and outbuildings on the property.

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