Planning Board reviews site proposals for daycare

Dec 11, 2018

ROCHESTER — The Planning Board held part one of a public hearing for Countryside Daycare on Tuesday to review and comment on the changes that the daycare has proposed  to the driveway and landscaping, and the addition of a playground.

Engineer Bob Rogers explained to the Dec. 11 meeting that the proposed changes to the current building at 15 Cranberry Highway include removing some pavement, landscaping an island to allow for dropoffs, fixing drainage systems that were built in 1997 and no longer conform to standards, and adding a playground.

The daycare would also make additions to the front of the building, which it eventually plans to rent out.

Planning Board Chair Arnold Johnson had the most questions on the site plan. He asked about how plows could manage to clear snow with the island. Rogers initially stated that he had designated an area of the lot where plowers could put snow. But Johnson seemed unconvinced that Rogers’ plan would work in practice.

“In reality, the plowers are going to push the snow into the swale,” said Johnson.

Rogers was reluctant to change the design at first. “I hate to ruin a perfectly good drainage design for a plowing issue,” he said. But Johnson refused to budge, saying “you might want to think of alternatives.”

Johnson also explained that he likes to review all the notes in site plans as well.

“These plans, once we approve them, are what’s going to bind them to the town, and that’s what we’re going to expect to see,” Johnson explained.

In reviewing the site plan’s notes Johnson asked Rogers to define what he meant by different storm volumes that he had referenced, such as “large storms,” “major storms,” and “significant rainfall events.” He also asked whether emergency vehicles would be able to access the back of the building.

Other than Johnson, only one board member had any questions on the site. Vice Chair Gary Florindo was concerned that a gravel road between the childcare center and the playground could serve as a safety liability for small children crossing back and forth.

Roger stated that the road’s primary user would be oil trucks, who would only need to use it once a month. However Florindo still seemed worried that cars might try to use the gravel road as a shortcut more often than Roger anticipated.

“I’m really concerned about the road going around the building with little kids there. People get impatient, and if they see a way out [of traffic] they are going to take it,” Florindo said. 

The only question from the public was an abutter who simply wanted to see the site plan.

Roger explained that he had brought the site’s drainage problems up with the Conservation Commission, and was still waiting to hear back from them, but will file a new Notice of Intent mid-week next week when he hears. The Planning Board voted to continue the Public Hearing about the site at their Jan. 8 meeting.