In general, informational hearings before the planning board are of little consequence. The results are non-binding on both the board and the applicant; the hearing’s main intent is to assist the applicant in going down the correct path to provide information; and, it is never certain that an actual subdivision application will result.
The March 30, 2016 information hearing was nonetheless interesting. Mr. Robert Dillberger came before the board with a proposed plan to subdivide his 24.615 acre lot (tax map L-38) into three separate lots. While splitting a 24 acre lot into three 5+ acre lots would appear to be a simple exercise, Mason terrain always seems to get in the way.
The board expressed some concern that one of the proposed lots was mostly wetland and might not have enough of a buildable area to be a separate lot. Shuffling the lot lines to fix that issue may cause a different issue with the 90% rule promulgated to make sure that any new lots are essentially rectangular and not funny dog leg or other odd shapes of sufficient area, but generally useless.
Mr. Dillberger got the sense of the board and was given the “application checklist” of requirements, should he wish to continue.
The elephant in the room, which no one acknowledged, was the proposed Kinder Morgan Pipeline Lateral. Mr. Dillberger’s lot is at the intersection of Morse and Townsend Roads, the 12″ pipeline is to cross Townsend Road near Jackson Road, so there appears to be no direct impact; unless there are unknown mitigation plans in the works.
Or this proposed subdivision may have nothing to do with that; however, since Mr. Dillberger is a member of at least three organizations opposing the pipeline, it does make one wonder.