A public hearing on a proposed subdivision at 334 Plainville Avenue, the property owned by Dean and Wendy Burhoe, was continued again until Jan. 15 after the Burhoes reduced their proposal from three houses to two.
“Following our previous public hearing and heard comments from the commission, my client has reconsidered the size and scope of this application and reduced the project to a two-lot subdivision, eliminating the rear lot,” explained attorney Daniel Kleinman of Levy & Droney.
That would leave the existing house, occupied by the Burhoes, with a proposal to build a new house in front. A third house, in back, was proposed for the lot but the commission expressed concern about a too-narrow driveway and utilities access.
Neighbors, about 20 of them, also expressed opposition to the project at the two previous public hearings. The long narrow lots allowed for each homeowner to enjoy privacy and a rural feel, without seeing other houses, they said. Building up the Burhoe lot would ruin that atmosphere, create traffic problems and jeopardize well and soil stability during construction.
In addition, they said, the construction project was more than they should have to put up with following years of Burhoe illegally running his landscaping business, with dozens of trucks and delivery traffic on the property.
The town has issued a cease and desist order and Burhoe is complying by following a business disengagement plan.
According to Chris Gagnon, of Hodge Surveyors, for the Burhoes, the new design would maintain existing buffers between the properties and remove existing encroachments on nearby properties.
Gagnon also said that the proposed house – mentioned during the last public hearing as being between 2,500 and 4,000 square feet – would be “compatible” with surrounding homes across Plainville Avenue and in the area.
Despite the proposal reduction, neighbors still expressed opposition to the subdivision.
Web Grouten, an abutting property owner, brought a petition against the original project and said he would be back with another petition against the new plan – updated just before the Wednesday meeting.
“One of the many qualities of our neighborhood is its proximity to Unionville while still maintaining a buffer from Plainville Avenue,” read a letter from Rich Higley Jr., another abutting property owner. “Any house constructed on Mr. Burhoe’s property could negatively impact our neighborhood.”
The new house, Grouten said, would be flanked by a driveway and an abandoned gas station, with a house in the rear and Plainville Avenue in its front yard.
Burhoe said he was aggressively implementing the disengagement plan for his property and any building permits would be contingent on its satisfactory completion.