MONROE — A new application on a previously approved housing development on 141 and 201 Turkey Roost Rd. met with some opposition from neighbors during a Public Hearing of the Inland Wetlands Commission on Wednesday, September 14.

Two other hearings, one for a 98,000-square-foot building and one for outdoor storage, prompted less concern from the public, but questions from commissioners.

Engineer David Bjorklund represented the applicant for the commercial building proposed for 912, 918, 926 and 929 Main St. The hearing had been continued from a previous meeting on Wednesday August 24, at which time commissioners had requested several pieces of information.

With all requests satisfied and questions answered, the commission agreed to close the hearing and later approved the application with standard conditions.

Commissioners decided they had trouble picturing plans for outdoor storage at 754 Main St. during the second hearing of the evening and agreed to conduct a site walk before next month’s meeting. The plan is to store stone and other similar materials at various locations around the site.

A website for the business, Stone Farm, says of the company, “Stone Farm specializes in scouring the world to find, harvest, quarry and repurpose distinctive stone and brick. These distinctive stones are often transformed into new uses like pavers, steps, walls or beautiful, thin-cut veneers.”

The third hearing for the evening was on the proposed housing development on Turkey Roost Road. Mr. Bjorklund, also representing this applicant, explained the current proposal was essentially the same as the one called Quarry Ridge that had been approved in 2010. That permit expired, however, prompting a need to return to the town’s commissions.

The site is approximately 106.2 acres. It had previously been the site of an illegal quarry and has since had work done on it to mitigate some of the damage to the wetlands. It is not a pristine site, however, Mr. Bjorklund pointed out.

One difference between this proposal and the previous one is that it is no longer being marketed as a 55-plus active adult community. The plan is to construct 90, three-bedroom, detached dwellings on the land, along with a clubhouse.

The development will be served by public water and by a central wastewater treatment facility as opposed to individual wells and septic systems.

Commission Chairman B.J. Hall informed Mr. Bjorklund that the commission would require an environmental impact study on the project and he requested the applicant agree to that stipulation and to engage an independent consultant to review the study, as well as to offer a time extension for the work to be done.

Mr. Hall suggested the applicant could agree to fund the study and the consultant or withdraw or to move forward, knowing the commission would deny the application without the study and consultant.

Mr. Bjorklund responded that the applicant agreed to the terms.

One set of neighbors wrote in ahead of time to express concern over the proposal, while another set appeared in person at the hearing, also to express concern over the impact on the environment, traffic and the town’s educational system as it was no longer restricted to older adults.

Former commission member Lois Spence also stood up to comment on the project. She said both she and the town’s engineer were fairly new at the time the original proposal had been presented and it is likely the project would have received more scrutiny if they had been more experienced. 

She also noted that the paperwork submitted with the current application still says active adult community.

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