Route 6 developers, Planning Board agree on lighting, debate on water

Dec 19, 2017

Members of the Planning Board and the developers of 111 Wareham St. came to an agreement about lighting, but not about water.

Tad Wollenhaupt and Alexander Urquhart currently have an agreement to purchase (but do not own) the property at 111 Wareham St. The property was previously a storage lot for Eden Landscaping and consists of two lots.

Urquhart and Wollenhaupt each plan to own one lot, and to build a 6,000 square-foot Morton-style building on their respective lots. The two buildings will each have several bays intended for businesses such as plumbers and contractors.

The developers have been working with the Planning Board to iron out details of the plan, and engineer Davis Davignon appeared in front of the board Monday night to go over the remaining issues.

One of those was lighting, as a waiver for a photometrics study which would study the light had been requested.

Planning Board member Will Saltonstall was unsure about the waiver at first, citing concern about the wall packs planned for the side of the building.

“I’m not a fan of wall packs personally,” Saltonstall said. “It throws a lot of lateral light. I want to make sure we’re not impacting the neighbors here.”

He also expressed concern about the floodlights planned for the corners of the parking lot.

However, Wollenhaupt assured the board that he was proposing lights angled at a 30-degree angle downward that had motion sensors for the side of the building. He also said he would be willing to get rid of the floodlights all together.

“If we don’t need them then I’d rather not have excess lighting on the property,” he said. “We don’t want a football field.”

Planning Board member Andrew Daniel, however, said he would suggest motion activated floodlights.

“With removing the snow and plowing, a motion activated floodlight is a wonderful thing,” he said. “And for security purposes, I think it’s a good idea.”

Wollenhaupt agreed, and the board granted the photometric waiver.

Water, however, was a different issue.

Davignon said the developers had three options for connecting to water. The first and favored option would be to use the existing well on-site.

“My clients would like to explore that,” he said. “That would require registering the well with the state [Department of Environmental Protection] and doing annual testing.”

The second option would be to bring a line up Marvel Street from Green Street to connect to the water there. The third, and least favored, option would be to cross Route 6.

“There’s a water main on the opposite side of the street,” Davignon said. “It’s expensive to install. It would include a police detail and [the Massachusetts Department of Transportation] coming in.”

Planning Board member Norm Hills said right away he was not comfortable with leaving the water connection issue open ended.

“It’s not what they choose, it’s what the town requires,” Hills said.

What the town requires, however, was not totally clear.

While members of the Planning Board believed that there was a town policy that required everyone to hook up to town water if it ran past your property, Davignon wasn’t sure that was the case, or if it was enforceable if it was true.

“If [the well] tests OK for drinking water, I don’t know if the town can stop us from using it,” Davignon said. “If it’s not a bylaw, it leaves it open for interpretation.”

Resident Sherman Briggs said that while it may be a policy to tie into town water if possible, it hasn’t been consistently enforced.

“That policy in my lifetime has never been followed,” he said. “I can tell you that right now.”

The board decided it needed to talk to the town’s attorney and see if it was required for properties to tie into the town’s water if it went past the property.

“We’ll ask town counsel as soon as possible to clarify this once and for all,” Planning Board member Steve Kokkins said. “Then hopefully we can conclude this at the next meeting.”

The hearing was continued until the Jan. 8 meeting.