Over-55 development proposed in Rochester center

Apr 11, 2018

Developers are planning a 44-unit senior housing project on Rounseville Road, across from Rochester's Town Hall.

Proposed by Wareham-based JC Engineering and REPurpose Properties, the development would cater to residents aged 55 and above.

JC Engineering owner John Churchill told the town's Planning Board on Tuesday that the companies plan to propose a project with 22 duplexes, a community center, and possibly a pool.

Representatives from the engineering company first approached the board last October with an informal proposal for a 24-lot housing subdivision with 30,000 square-foot lots.

Planning Board members said they wouldn't support it, noting that the "limited commercial" zoning of the area was intended to encourage mixed-use developments.

The new proposal remedies the problem.

The developers' 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.

"It's modeled after the The Pines at Hathaway Pond," Churchill told the board.

Approved by the Planning Board several years ago, The Pines on Route 105 (Marion Road) is also a 55-plus community.

Churchill noted that there is flexibility in the lot sizes.

"I like this plan a lot better than I liked your last one," Planning Board Chairman Arnie Johnson said.

Based on Planning Board input, fire hydrants would be located at the entrance of each cul-de-sac, Churchill said. The roads into the development would be private, as would trash collection.

Churchill added that a flood analysis would need to be completed.

"It seems like a lot of the problem is on the other side of the road, directly in front of the Town Hall," he noted, "but we're going to do an analysis to see exactly how construction would affect the area."

A playground belonging to nearby Countryside Childcare is a bit of an issue. Part of it is located on a piece of the property that would be developed.

"We're working with them to have a portion of the playground moved," Churchill explained. "They're nice people. We'd like to keep them here, so we'll work it out as best as possible."

With the board's informal support, Churchill said the developers will submit official plans to the town. Rochester's Historical Commission will also need to weigh in on the development, as it is located in the town's historic district.