Preliminary Subdivision Disapproval

Form of Vote

At a regularly scheduled meeting of the Hadley Planning Board held March 21, 2000 the Board voted


(Maksimoski, Devine, Dwyer, Zgrodnik, West- aye)
(Maksimoski, Devine, Dwyer, Zgrodnik, West- no)
(Maksimoski, Devine, Dwyer, Zgrodnik, West- abstain)
(Maksimoski, Devine, Dwyer, Zgrodnik, West- Absent)

to disapprove your preliminary subdivision plans, based upon the following findings:

General Findings

The definitive subdivision known as Skinner Estates is disapproved 1) for violation of, and non-conformance with, the Town of Hadley’s Subdivision Regulations and 2) as not being in the best interests of the public and the Town as provided in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 41, § 81M.

§81M Findings

The Planning Board specifically finds:

1. From the Preliminary Plan, it is not possible to determine that there is adequate access to all of the lots in the subdivision by ways that will be safe and convenient for travel. The exact layout and number of lots is not resolved, and the slope of the proposed roadway is not provided.

2. From the Preliminary Plan, it is not possible to determine that there is adequate provision for lessening congestion at the intersection of the proposed way with Hockanum Road. No traffic analysis has been provided.

3. From the Preliminary Plan, it is not possible to determine that there is adequate provision for reducing danger to life and limb in the operation of motor vehicles. Mountain roadways in the immediate vicinity are known to be treacherous in winter.

4. There is inadequate provision for securing safety in the case of fire, flood, panic and other emergencies, as there is only one access/egress serving a street with a total length in excess of 6,000 feet. Fire protection is not detailed, but the Preliminary Plan states that some lots are be served with private wells and so will not be adjacent to hydrants.

a. From the Preliminary Plan, it is likewise not possible to determine that there is adequate provision for water, sewerage, drainage, underground utility services, and access for fire, police, and other similar municipal equipment (including snowplows) due to steep grades.

5. From the Preliminary Plan, it is not possible to determine that there is adequate provision for ensuring sanitary conditions in the subdivisions, and particularly whether ground conditions can support on-site septic systems for each proposed lot, with adequate separation for private wells where required. See Notes 1 & 2, Preliminary Plan.

6. The Preliminary Plan may not comply with the Hadley Zoning By-laws in that Lots 23 and 35 may violate Section IV.C.

Regulations Affecting Preliminary Subdivision Plans

The Planning Board specifically finds:

1. The Applicant is not the owner of all of the land included in the proposed subdivision. Subdivision Regulations II.A.

2. The preliminary subdivision plan is not in the required scale of l"=40'. A waiver was requested to show the preliminary plan at a scale of 1"=l00', but said waiver was not granted. Subdivision Regulations IV.B.3.

3. The metes and bounds of the property are not shown. The north arrow datum is not shown. Subdivision Regulations IV.B.3.a.

4. The southerly abutter(s) (in the Town of South Hadley) do not seem to be provided on the abutters list or on the plan. Subdivision Regulations IV.B.3.c.

5. The existing water line easement is shown in a general manner, however, drainage easements for the retention basins and trunks to the basins are not shown. Subdivision Regulations IV.B.3.d.

6. No topographic or planimetric detail is shown on abutting properties, including "existing natural waterways" as required. Subdivision Regulations IV.B.3.e.

7. Note 1 on the preliminary subdivision plan states that "Lots 1-5, 19-26, and 27-29 to be serviced by town water if grades permit..." The proposed water distribution system for these lots is not shown. Subdivision Regulations IV.B.3.f.

8. The topography shown on the Preliminary Plan is inaccurate, incomplete and does not represent existing site conditions. The topography depicted on the Preliminary Plan is referenced as undated USGS mapping (Note 4, Preliminary Plan). This topographic mapping does not show either the large gravel pit area or the quarry that exists on the site. Complete and accurate mapping is vitally important to adequately evaluate project impacts. Subdivision Regulations IV.B.3.h.

9. The key plan is shown as 'Not to Scale' not l"=l000' as requested. Subdivision Regulations IV.B.3.k.

10. Environmental Impact Analysis: no initial findings were provided. Subdivision Regulations IV.B.3.l.

11. As the subdivision covers less than all of the land owned by the subdivider, a plan showing in a general manner the proposed overall development of all said land is required. Subdivision Regulations IV.B.3.m.

Regulations Affecting Definitive Subdivision Plans

A Definitive Plan derived from the Preliminary Plans here disallowed will not, without substantial changes, comply with the Town of Hadley’s Subdivision Regulations affecting such Definitive Plan:

1. The proposed cul-de-sac street will not comply with the Subdivision Regulations. Total street length in the proposed subdivision is about 1.2 miles, or 6,075 feet, accessible by only one access/egress. Subdivision Regulations V.A.1.f.

2. The Subdivision Regulations require that "To insure the health and safety of inhabitants, the subdivider shall connect all proposed subdivisions to the public water supply". The Preliminary Plan is deficient in that Note 1 from the Preliminary Plan indicates that the lots exceeding elevations appropriate for Town water shall be serviced by on-site wells. Subdivision Regulations V.G. 1.

3. If extensive slopes are proposed in the grading of the proposed roadways, slope easements may be required.

4. The following are comments pertaining to the stormwater management system:

a. The preliminary plan shows three retention basins in the northern portion of the site. If possible, these basins should have provisions for an emergency overflow to protect from down gradient flooding.

b. Due to the relatively steep slopes of the site, required setbacks from property lines, soil conditions, and drainage basin characteristics, it seems that the retention basins may be substantially larger than shown on the preliminary plan. The designer may need to examine the possibility of using subsurface infiltration techniques. Stormwater quality also needs to be considered.

c. The designer should examine the constructibility of the retention basin adjacent to the municipal water line to ensure that the water line would not be disturbed or compromised.

5. An Environmental Impact Analysis will be required. The impact of drainage off-site should be included in the Environmental Impact Analysis. Subdivision Regulations IV.C.4.

6. Although Lot 4 meets the zoning requirements for size and shape, it may be rendered unsuitable for building because of the water line easement, the proposed retention basin, and pond locations.

Other Compliance Issues

The following issues have been raised to the Planning Board. Upon initial review, these matters are outside of our statutory jurisdiction. If these matters do affect the land, however, they may well have impacts upon the design of the subdivision. Since any modification of the design after final action by the Planning Board may require the re-opening of the Public Hearing and/or of the entire review process, it is in the best interests of all concerned to seek a definitive resolution of the following:

1. Any work around the pond may be subject to the review of the Town of Hadley Conservation Commission.

2. Approval of septic systems is the duty of the Hadley Board of Health. The upper slopes of the Holyoke Range, which are very shallow to bedrock, may not be amenable to perking and installation of septic.

3. Historical and archeological resources in the area may involve the Hadley Historical Commission.

4. Rare and endangered species may inhabit this property

5. Native American relics and/or burial sites are reputed to be in the vicinity.

6. Migratory Bird Treaty Act and Water Pollution Control Act impacts.

7. Filing of an Environmental Notification Form with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) Unit appears to be required.

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