TPZ denies plan for 8-lot subdivision on Tuller School site
Town Plan and Zoning Commission members, in denying plans for an eight-lot residential subdivision on the former Tuller School property, didn't buy the developer's definition of a "temporary turnaround" proposed as part of the project.
Joel Green, the lawyer representing neighbors on Marian and Little Brook roads who opposed the development, was pleased with the TPZ's denial Tuesday.
"Dead-end streets and cul-de-sacs create real problems for fire and safety personnel," Green said, referring to the applicants' argument that a road for the subdivision that dead-ends at a ballfield is a temporary turnaround. Green said dead-ends also "create issues for school buses, public works and the like."
The applicants, Christopher Cocco and Malgorzata Pickarski, argued that the dead end of Little Brook Road near a town ballfield was just a temporary turnaround that could, at some point, in the future be opened to traffic. That meant, they argued during the public hearing on the proposal last month, that the cul-de-sac they were creating at the other end of the road was allowed under the town's zoning regulations.
Zoning regulations do not allow cul-de-sacs that serve as the only ingress and egress to more than 10 homes. Planning Director Joseph Devonshuk said if the panel decided the development created a cul-de-sac, it would serve more than 14 homes.
Under the proposal, two of the homes would have had driveways from Tuller Road, the rest from Little Brook. The former Tuller School building would have remained.
TPZ Commissioner James Kennelly said common sense would indicate the town would likely never continue the street through the park area. "This town is already starving for open space," Kennelly said. "The future here is never going to be anything than what it is."
Vice Chairman Seth Baratz said the street already ends in a cul-de-sac, and parking on the street people using the ballfield would continue.
"I think the cul-de-sac issue is the only issue we need to decide," Commissioner Matthew Wagner said, although Commissioner Richard Jacobs also had concerns about water runoff from the proposed homes to neighboring properties. "They don't need that extra water," Jacobs said. "This could really aggravate the situation."
Commissioner Patricia Jacobson, who visited the site, said, "It's a beautiful park ... It is crowded. I'm concerned about safety and the fact there's only one access for all those houses."