Mason: Boards weigh in on proposed driveway plan  

  • Mason's Rail Trail, photographed where it meets Depot Road on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Mason's Rail Trail, photographed where it meets Depot Road on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Mason's Rail Trail, photographed where it meets Depot Road on Friday, Jan. 13, 2017. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Mason's Rail Trail, photographed where it meets Depot Road on Friday. Staff photo by Brandon Latham

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 1/17/2017 9:51:31 AM

The Conservation Commission in Mason is preparing to make its recommendation to the Planning Board regarding a subdivision proposal that would have a driveway located just feet from existing wetlands.

Lot J-11 in southwestern Mason is owned by Martin Ruggiero, who plans to subdivide it into four lots for the development of three additional houses on Old Turnpike Road. The plan as drawn includes a shared driveway that passes through three lots and runs within the 25-foot protective buffer of noted wetlands because it will be placed in an existing road bed that predates wetland regulations.

Before the Planning Board moves forward on the application, which was presented at a meeting on Dec. 28, it is seeking input from various third parties, including the Conservation Commission, which discussed it on Jan. 11. The next Planning Board meeting is scheduled for Jan. 25.

“It’s an existing cleared area, it may need a little upgrade, but we felt it’d be much less destructive than if we blazed a new path,” Ray Shay of Sandford Surveying & Engineering said.

The driveway will be about 10 feet wide and an estimated 10 to 15 feet from water, with a 2 to 3-foot elevation grade. Driveways are usually flat, rarely crowned.

Shay says that will not be erosive to the wetland, based on test pits dug last summer. He added that the existing road is associated with an old farm, and has no documentation of ever having been a public roadway.

Based on the discussion, the Conservation Commission will give its recommendations, allowing the plan with conditions on construction and protection that it will note it its letter to the Planning Board. For example, it will recommend erosion control socks or wood chips to protect the wetland while the driveway is being constructed. These details could be in the sale agreement so developers and property owners must follow them.

The commission also discussed the future of the rail trail, which is in need of improvements. The town is seeking funding for those improvements, both privately and from grants, and will have a better idea of what it can do in a couple months.


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