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Neighbors Oppose Plainville Ave. Subdivision Proposal

Burhoe owners forced to relocate landscaping business from their property; now they're looking to subdivide and add 3,000-4,000 square foot homes.

A proposal to create a 3-house subdivision on Plainville Avenue has evoked more opposition than have some much larger projects that have come before the Town Plan and Zoning Commission. 

The proposal, to subdivide 334 Plainville Ave., and build two 2,500 – 4,000 square-foot homes on the property, met with complaints from nearly all of the property’s neighbors Monday night – some of whom had been before the commission just months before asking the town to take action against the owner.

In June, the town began discussions with Dean Burhoe, who owns 334 Plainville Ave., about the landscaping business he was running out of his home. Neighbors said they had put up with the constant truck traffic and diesel fumes for years but that the business had grown out of hand. Town officials discovered almost 30 vehicles, including many trucks and trailers, and an oil tanker to fuel them, were being parked at and dispatched from the home, with deliveries being made there as well. Finally, the town issued a cease and desist order and Burhoe agreed to a disengagement plan to move his business to another location.

Now, almost all of the vehicles on the Burhoe property have been removed and only the weekly commercial garbage pickup and uniform delivery continue.

But he has proposed a new use for the now unoccupied space on his land: subdivide it into three lots, build two large houses and donate the excess back lot to the town for open space.

Daniel Kleinman of Levy & Droney is representing him.

Burhoe, he explained, is a 20-year resident of Farmington and plans to continue living in his home. But in front and in back, he’d like to create two lots for new homes, all served by the existing driveway.

He brought a letter from Landworks Realty principal Gary Emerito, saying that “After reviewing the proposed site plan… in my opinion, it will have a beneficial effect on property values in the neighborhood … there is healthy market activity is this area for new construction…”

But commissioners and neighbors weren’t so sure.

Don Doeg asked if any environmental study had been done to determine if there was any contamination on the site from the years vehicles had been parked on the site.

Bill Stanford asked whether any investigation into site lines from the driveway had been done.

In both cases the answer was no, with the applicant also saying he’d like waivers on the requirements of underground utilities, sidewalks in front of the property and a driveway of more than 20 feet wide.

Stanford was frank in offering his opinion of the proposal.

“It’s not appropriate to put a subdivision in without investigating whether it’s safe… the north-south size of the lot is not wide enough for the size of the houses you propose and the driveway’s not wide enough… The open space you’re giving the town is the worst land and the least accessible to anyone… Maybe you’d like to go back and investigate how to do this in a way that’s fair to the town and the people who’d be living there.”

Neighbors complained about facing construction just when the landscaping traffic had stopped. Several said their properties would suffer if the woods in their backyards were replaced with large homes.

The issue was continued to Dec. 18.

Daisy Mae November 27, 2012 at 02:18 PM
I quess if the neighbors actually own the woods then they might have a leg to stand on with that argument
Ann Randolph November 29, 2012 at 03:30 AM
As the property is a residentially zoned lot, the property owner should not have been using it for commercial purposes. A "home" office is one thing, but running a landscaping business and parking and dispatching 30 vehicles from the location is another. Perhaps before the town even further considers Mr. Burhoe's request to subdivide and build additional houses, Mr. Burhoe should pay the (higher) property taxes that would be assessed on it as a commercially zoned property. Going back 20 years, including interest and penalties. As for the neighbors, I agree with Daisy Mae...

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