Developers move toward solving issues at senior housing site

Sep 11, 2018

ROCHESTER - The plans for the 55-plus community potentially slated for Rounseville Road next to Plumb Corner are getting closer to review in front of the Planning Board.

Attorney Peter Paul said that though the public hearing on the project has been continued multiple times, there has been work going on behind the scenes.

“After the last month or so we’ve finally been making progress,” he said. “We’re finally close to an agreement on fixing that drainage problem at Plumb Corner.”

Paul said he hopes by the next meeting in two weeks there should be a settlement agreement in place.

“Then we’ll be in a position to discuss draft plans,” Paul said.

The developers, Wareham-based JC Engineering and REPurpose Properties, told the Planning Board in April that their plans feature a U-shaped housing development and two cul-de-sacs on a portion of the property. The second portion of the land would be designated for industrial development.

Aside from the drainage issue in the area, there is also the playground problem. The playground belonging to Countryside Childcare is on part of the lot owned by the developers. Paul said the developers had been working on a solution.

“I spoke to the owner of the playground today,” he said. “They bought another location on Cranberry Highway, so they might not stay at Plumb Corner.”

However, the daycare’s lease currently runs until January 2020, and Paul doesn’t think a decision on whether or not they’ll stay will be made until next year.

“We don’t want to go to all the work of carving out additional room for the playground and then they leave,” he said.

Paul suggested having a license or permit issued for the playground just for that particular use.

“That way, if the playground goes away, the license is of no effect,” he said.

However, that didn’t sit well with the board.

“I’m not real warm and fuzzy about that,” Chair Arnie Johnson said. “It either gets carved out or it gets torn down as a condition of approval. The Homeowners Association isn’t going to want the liability.”

Johnson also pointed out that before signing the settlement agreement, the town’s attorney should look at it too, since the town will have to approve of the plan in the end.

“If we don’t like the agreement, it’s going to make everyone lose time,” he said.