Residential development sparks debate at Planning Board hearing

May 9, 2019

MATTAPOISETT — A Planning Board hearing on the proposed five-lot subdivision to be known as Eldridge Estates drew neighbors with lots of questions on May 8. When developer Scott Snow was unable to provide detailed answers, the hearing was continued until May 20.

The proposed subdivision, to be constructed off of Prospect Road adjacent to Snow’s previous Ocean Breeze Lane subdivision, has been in the permitting process for months.

Neighbors cite issues with the nearly decade-old Ocean Breeze project and concern that the Ocean Breeze problems will be repeated in Eldridge Estates.

Snow told the board on May 8 that, because his project engineer was not at the meeting, he could not address details of construction plans.

Planning Board Chair Thomas M. Tucker insisted Snow should answer the questions as best he could, noting many people had been waiting hours at hearings to ask questions.

“These people have been great for coming to meeting, after meeting, after meeting,” he said. “I would really like to give them the opportunity to ask you any questions.”

Tucker then read a letter from resident David Mee expressing concern that the area is prone to flooding. Flooding is a frequent problem on Ocean Breeze Lane, he wrote, which is still incomplete after nearly a decade and where a retention basin is not maintained.

“I fear similar problems will occur if the Eldridge Estates subdivision is approved,” Mee wrote.

Snow replied: “I’m up here not trying to hide, I had some things to clean up.” The Federal Emergency Management Agency “kicked the crap out of me with Ocean Breeze and I’m cleaning that up. I’m not trying to hide from Ocean Breeze.”

Prospect Road resident Florence Martocci worried her stone wall would be damaged from the heavy equipment used for constructing the new Eldridge Estates road and asked if there are plans to protect the property of neighbors.

“I’m just worried people are gonna look at it as a pile of rocks and think it doesn’t matter,” she said of her wall.

After hearing the citizens’ concerns, Tucker suggested Snow withdraw his application and come back to the Planning Board in September with a revised subdivision plan.

“There would be a tremendous hardship if that happens,” Snow replied. “I’d like to see this through.”