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EASTHAMPTON — After several months of hearings, the Easthampton Planning Board officially approved the development of residential units on Loudville Road during its meeting on Feb. 6.

The development, proposed by Joseph Kelley at 282 Loudville Rd., a 12.22-acre parcel, includes up to 15 residential units and an associated roadway. The new roadway would include a new cul-de-sac. The construction would also include sidewalks, water, sewer and stormwater infrastructure.

To begin the hearing, John Furman, the principal engineer on the project from VHB Springfield, said there were two updates from the prior meeting.

“There were two things on it. The first was the Fire Department at the last meeting requested a hydrant be relocated, so we did that and repositioned the water line at the end of the cul-de-sac to try to make it more efficient and cut down on the lengths of the services,” Furman said. “The other item that was added to that was along the tree cutting line, which is our 200-foot buffer, we showed some dots which mark the tree cutting line, what we were planning to use on that is a steel pipe, 4-foot long, buried 2 feet, painted, sticking out of the ground about 2 feet.”

While he was asked about a Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection permit at the previous meeting, Furman explained it was not necessary as the stormwater would not be discharged into an “outstanding water resource,” and instead would be infiltrated.

Furman added that several items were added to the Master Deed for the project, which is what each homeowner agrees to when they purchase one of the units.

“Everything that you had asked for we have added to it,” Furman said.

Those additions included specific language about the maintenance of each residence by the homeowners as well as protections against additional tree cutting in the buffer zones. Also included are monuments that would mark off the area where the tree buffer zone is.

“The intent of the document basically says the area that is delineated as the 200-foot buffer and marked by the monuments will not be any more tree cutting,” he said.

City Planner Jeff Bagg said, “I think it fulfills the general purpose of what we were looking for.”

While Chuck McCullagh, a lead representative for the abutters on the project, asked for the hearing to be continued to allow the abutters’ attorney to conduct one final review with the applicant, board Vice Chair James Zarvis, who was serving as the chair for the hearing, said he was reluctant to delay the decision further.

“For me this project has gone on a little long, I’m always cognizant that there’s two sides to the story, sometimes three, but there’s the waiting, the efforts, the money, the developer’s important for this,” Zarvis said. “I do feel like we’ve pushed this too far.”

Kelley added that the applicant preferred not to delay any further. The rest of the board agreed that they were not inclined to delay the hearing to another meeting. Going forward, Zarvis encouraged the applicant to continue to work with the abutters as the project continues forward beyond the Planning Board.

Following the discussion, Zarvis read the Planning Board’s findings into the record before discussing the conditions the board wanted to set for the permit. Much of the discussion around the conditions was about tightening language to be more specific.

The board unanimously approved both the stormwater permit and the special permit for the Loudville Road development.

dhackett@thereminder.com | + posts