Mason: Building lots discussed

  • Members of Mason's Planning Board reviewed an application for a subdivision on Old Turnpike Road on Dec. 28, 2016. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Brandon Latham—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript...

  • Rough illustration of the location of the proposed subdivision at Old Turnpike Road and Bell Lane. (Brandon Latham / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) —MAPS4NEWS

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 1/3/2017 6:38:06 AM

Three new building lots could be created in Mason if the town agrees to a proposed subdivision on Old Turnpike Road.

The lot is owned by Martin Ruggiero, and has access to Route 124 and Bell Lane, where Ruggiero’s own driveway starts.

The existing lot is 17.953 acres and would be divided into four lots of varying sizes from 4.2 to 4.7 acres, with spaces for three additional residences.

Surveyor Ray Shea of Stanford Surveying and Engineering, based in Bedford, presented the application for subdivision to the Mason Planning Board at its meeting on Wednesday. Ruggiero was not present due to illness, so he had to provide written permission for Shea to act as the applicant on his behalf.

The board accepted the application as complete. Each of the three new lots will have the required green space and a building area. Most of the discussion revolved around the proposed driveways.

Because Route 124 is a state road, the plan had to follow various state regulations regarding access points where curb-cuts are made in the highway to meet the driveways.

Lot 1’s driveway is already constructed and meets Bell Lane. Two others will have to be constructed: Lot 2 will have its own, and lots 3 and 4 will share.

The lot 2 driveway will be noncontroversial, but the second, shared driveway generated discussion. It will begin in lot 2 before splitting in lot 3 to lead to 3’s and 4’s building areas. It’s point of original and proximity to wetlands could cause problems.

Shea said it has to begin in lot 3 because of the curve in Route 124 and the state requirement that there be a 400-foot line of sight in both directions from a driveway. If it were to be moved to the western lots, slopes in the hill at the edge of the property would have to be reconstructed and vegetation on both sides would need to be trimmed to provide an adequate line of sight.

Shared driveways require a contract between, in this case, the three property owners saying any conflicts be settled privately or as a civil issue. The planning board made sure the town would be absolved of any responsibility.

Part of the driveway runs next to wetlands in an existing road bed, which some suspect is the original Turnpike Road cart path.

“There’s no indication there’s any public right to [the old road], and even if there ever was I can tell you the public doesn’t drive it now,” Shea said of the prospect that it might still be a legal road. “It would have to be ancient.”

The Conservation Commission will, at its Jan. 11 meeting, consider its proximity to the wetlands. Other officials, including from the fire department and state road agent, will provide input before the planning board meets about this again. Its next scheduled meeting is Jan. 25.

Brandon Latham can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 228.


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