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Fayston homeowner presents changes to subdivision plan

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12/07/2006

By Erin Post

A Fayston homeowner presented revised subdivision plans and offered an apology to the planning commission at a December 5 hearing.

"I really apologize to the board and to my neighbors," said Donald Simonini prior to talking through changes to a pending minor subdivision application that would create three new lots out of his 28-acre property off Center Fayston Road. Simonini's home lot takes up about 18 acres of the site.

Neighbors at a hearing in August voiced objections to the subdivision, citing concerns about wildlife and stream crossings.

Simonini said December 5 that he didn't anticipate the strong feelings expressed by abutting landowners this summer, and said changes to the plan, which calls for three building lots of roughly three acres each off Deer Run Lane in addition to his 18-acre home site, should address those concerns.

Changes include reducing the number of stream crossings from three to two, including additional turn-offs on the narrow road and emphasizing no-cut zones and vegetation to maintain the area's rural character.

"We've really tried to work the buffers," Simonini said. 

Carl Fuller of Dufresne-Henry Consulting Engineers presented color-coded plans that showed building envelopes surrounded by no-cut zones, areas that Simonini pointed out make up about 60 percent of the property.

Covenants allow landowners to construct one house and one outbuilding per site, Simonini said, and also clearly define what a home-based business is, reducing the potential for heavy traffic on the road.

After consultation with state officials, Fuller said installation of a culvert lined with stone on the bottom is planned for the first stream crossing, while the second will allow the stream to "remain in its natural state" by using an existing ledge cut as the basis for a bridge.

Act 250 will likely not be triggered by the development, Fuller and Simonini said.

In response to questions about whether the house sites would be developed all at once, Simonini said he is considering partnering with a friend to build the homes, potentially at the rate of one per year.

Chuck Martel, planning commission chair, said that although the board has 45 days to render a decision, making the final deadline January 20, the application is scheduled for review again on January 9.

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