ROXBURY — An application for a six-lot subdivision on North Street by The Woods LLC has been resubmitted to the Inland Wetlands Commission, and a new Public Hearing has been scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, January 13, as a virtual meeting utilizing Zoom.
The application is virtually identical to the one that was recently withdrawn after an issue was discovered with the wording of the Public Hearing notice.
“The town is not at fault here,” Chairman Russ Dirienzo said. The commission had not been aware that the notice failed to mention that drainage from the subdivision would be routed to a parcel across the street until it was brought up by a neighbor at the latest session of the public hearing on November 24.
A re-reading of the public notice indicated that the parcel was not specifically named. Due to the concern over the legality of the public notice, the application was withdrawn prior to a December 4 continuation of the public hearing.
The new notice covers all bases, even making reference to the fact that the parcel, known as Parcel B, located at 203 North St., was “conveyed by deed dated December 16, 2020, to JARK Roxbury LLC, who took title subject to a ‘Drainage Easement to The Woods Roxbury LLC.’”
Attorney Christopher Smith, acting on behalf of the applicant, asked that filing fees be waived under the circumstances, but Mr. Dirienzo said in order to be considered for a waiver, the project would have to be proven to be a “substantial benefit” to the town.
Unfortunately, this particular project has proven very costly to the town, Mr. Dirienzo said, citing attorney fees among the costs.
Mr. Smith then asked that the record include all filings submitted regarding this project, including both the just withdrawn application and the 11-lot subdivision application which had been denied in November of 2018.
He said including all documents would be a benefit to the applicant should the case wind up in court.
Town Attorney Gail McTaggart said that although the record is substantial, it was the applicant’s right to ask that all records be included.
Following a vote of 4 to 1 to include all documents, Mr. Dirienzo said the commission next has to determine if the activity was “significant.” He defined significant activity as “any activity that has the potential to cause harm” to the wetlands.
He explained there were two reasons to hold a Public Hearing on an application. One is if the project is deemed a significant activity. The other if it is considered to be in the best interest of the public to do so.
After a brief discussion, members agreed they considered this to be a significant activity, based in part on information presented during the previous hearing.
With the commission having determined this proposed subdivision to be a significant activity, the applicant will now be required to prove there is no reasonable and prudent alternative to the plan presented.
Mr. Dirienzo then asked all commissioners to visit both the proposed subdivision and the area where the detention basin will be constructed on “Parcel B,” prior to January 13.