Woodmont Developers Outline Future Master Plan

The Woodmont Commons PUD (Planned Unit Development) team outlined its forthcoming Master Plan and what it would include. The Woodmont team presented a brief look at the proposed Master Plan at the Planning Board’s Wednesday, July 10 meeting.

Woodmont Attorney Ari Pollack said the Master Plan will be “a user friendly guide.
“The Master Plan document is a culmination of the application and briefing materials that we have been providing on a month to month basis, put together as a user friendly guide as the PUD moves into the development phase,” Pollack said.

“Our goal is to give a brief overview of the form and structure of the final document,” said Emily Innes of the Cecil Group. “The final document will be in four sections, with section one and four general context and general information of what someone needs to know five, 10, 20 years from now. In the case of section one, it has the planning context, planning process and general information. It is non-regulatory.”

She said section four provides additional information such as an updated abutters list, and the forms that will be used to track what’s going on in the Master Plan over the years, including the Master Plan Traffic Assessment, Infrastructure Memorandum, and the Master Fiscal Impact Analysis. Those items are included in sections two and three, the regulatory sections of the document.

“Sections two and three are the ones that the developer will use to prepare a submittal at the peer review and site plan level, and will be used to evaluate any application that comes before you,” Innes said. “Section three has to do with mitigation.”

Innes said section 2.0 of the document was its “heart” and covered PUD regulations, standards, land use, PUD subdivision and the PUD site plan. She added that the introductory portion covered all the basic PUD information including planning and design, and waivers the applicant has asked the board to consider.

“Section 2.2 is the land use designations and includes the land use plan and gives a general idea of streets and open space and other elements, and includes the allowable use of a sub area and the allowable densities maximum by sub area and the shared open space minimums by sub area,” Innes said.

She said section 2.3 included regulations regarding things like lots, streets as well as signage, lighting and utilities. Innes said that the next steps are to continue to work with staff to review comments, deliver the document to the board and review the PUD Master Plan with the Planning Board at the August meeting.

Pollack reminded the board that what was presented was an overview and “ice breaker,” to give the board an idea of what is coming. Board member Lynn Wiles asked if the document was a rewrite of previous documents, as the numbered headings appeared different, and Pollack responded that it was an “evolution of ideas” from previous documents.

At the same meeting, two letters of dissent from residents and a letter of response from board member Tom Freda were read into the record (See related story page 1). John Wilson of Tranquil Drive said he had a couple of requests – that as the developer agreements come together. they be put online on the town website so residents would have more time to review them.

Chairman Arthur Rugg said that the documents were a work in progress and would be made available to the public before the board took action. “You’re going to have maybe months to deal with it and once it comes out, I’m going to have – and the rest of the town will have – how long? A week, maybe? There’s no reason why that document cannot be made public,” Wilson said.

Rugg said that he would see what they could do. Wilson said another document, concerning the proposed exit 4A of Interstate 93, should be looked at, as it commits the town to put up money for the exit. “I’d like to look at it because I think at some point in time it’s going to have some relevance to this. Could you get that document so that it could be reviewed?” Wilson said.
Rugg said that could be done.

Wilson asked if it were possible to put together a tentative plan containing steps in the decision making process for people interested in what was going on. Rugg said they would look into it and noted the Planning Board has a meeting Aug. 14 and a possible meeting Aug. 28.
Wilson asked if the document for the Aug. 14 meeting could be put on the website prior to the meeting. Rugg said the board would receive materials from the development team on or about Aug.

7, at which time they would be put on the website. Wilson said one of the issues that he thought caused concern was how the development would impact Gilcreast Road, “and specifically that neighborhood. “Why not shift that retention pond so that it borders Gilcreast Road and let the pond in its entirety be the buffer between that neighborhood and the development?” he suggested. “You wouldn’t lose any land; you’d be building a buffer that I don’t think many people would object to.”

Rugg said such a decision would be looked at in the future. Pollack requested that the review clock – the 65-day time frame the Planning Board has to render a decision – be extended to Friday, Aug. 16, with a possible special meeting on Aug, 28. A motion to extend the 65-day clock to Aug. 16 was made by Lynn Wiles and seconded by John Laferriere, and passed unanimously.
Resident John Farrell asked that if the board were considering meeting on Aug. 28, “Why not extend the clock until the 28th?” Rugg explained the board had a systematic method in its extensions. A motion to continue the public hearing on Woodmont until Aug. 14 passed unanimously.

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