Three new homes coming

John Scarffe, Nederland.  The Nederland Board of Trustees approved a minor subdivision that will make possible building three new affordable homes during a regular meeting at 7 p.m., October 17, 2017, at the Nederland Community Center. The Board also approved a Special Review Use Application to move Dillon Developers’ excavation business to 301 East Street.

 

Town Planning Technician Cynthia Bakke introduced a request by Mark Stringfellow of Byrd Construction for a minor subdivision at155, 163 and 171 Conger Street. The property will be split into three different parcels.

 

The parcel was formerly known as 179 Conger Street and was readdressed in 2015, according to background. The property is zoned High Density Residential (HDR). Stringfellow proposes to divide the existing parcel into three separate lots to provide a total of three new single-family housing units with a small footprint for rent or sale upon a 13,239-square-foot lot, which is currently vacant, according to background. Electric utility is upon the site, with water and sewer taps.

 

Considerations in this proposal include provision of sufficient lot size per the zoning code, which requires 4,000 square feet per dwelling unit. The Board of Zoning Adjustments approved a variance, and the Planning Commission recommended that Stringfellow work with the Public Works Director on a drainage plan and will plant blue spruce on the property.

 

Stringfellow told the Board that he has been working on this for several years, and he has a proposed building envelope. The discussion was to make it part of the condition.

 

Trustee Julie Gustafson said: “Three homes could support the affordable housing goal, but I don’t see any guarantees in there. Are there any protections in there?”

Stringfellow said he talked to property owners who said they would rather see individual homes, and then asked what kind of housing do you need, and that’s would drove this concept. “That was the main driving force. It’s going to be market driven.

 

“I’ve worked with the town for several years to develop a plan. It’s my intention to sell these homes in the low threes. I will sell them for under $400,000,” Stringfellow said.

 

Trustee Topher Donahue said there is nothing to keep the next buyer from turning it into an $800,000 house. “We can’t really do it. It’s still private property and they’re going to do what they want to do with it.”

 

The Board approved the minor subdivision.

 

Town Administrator Karen Gerrity introduced a Special Review Use Application (SRU) and Public Hearing related to commercial/industrial uses for an excavation business at 301 East Street. Gerrity said the applicant wants to sublease the office building, which is not being used.

 

Zoning is general commercial so it is permitted. The applicant, Heath Dillon of Dillon Developers, met all requirements including noticing, Gerrity said. The planning Commission recommended approval with conditions.

 

Dillon Developers, Inc., is a full-service excavation company established in May of 2000, Dillon wrote in his application materials. The company is currently located at 250 North Caribou Street in Nederland and has been there since 2011. The property was recently sold.

 

This application is to relocate Dillon Developers to 301 East Street, where AmeriGas currently runs its propane distribution operation, Dillon wrote. The company will be sharing the property, and expect no change to the current activities of AmeriGas.

 

Dillon Developers will be occupying the existing building and the non-fenced area and parking lot around the building. The fenced-in area will continue to be utilized by AmericGas, Dillon wrote.

 

Dillon Developers owns a few pieces of heavy equipment, also a few pick-up trucks and a couple of equipment trailers that will be parked on the premises when not on a job site. Also a couple of sheds will be utilized for tools and materials storage, Dillon wrote. The majority of the maintenance and repairs to equipment is performed by a licensed company that supplies its own service truck with no impact to the grounds.

 

According to background, the 896-square-foot building is not being used by the lessee Amerigas, despite propane filling activities which are being conducted on the other portion of the site, which is enclosed by fencing. The Planning Commission reviewed the application with a recommendation of approval with conditions, including keeping no more than six heavy equipment vehicles related to excavation onsite, erecting fencing and business hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Agreement is non-transferrable, and will terminate upon property sale.

 

Four community residents spoke in favor of the SRU, with comments like: “I’ve known Dillon since elementary school and appreciated the way the shop was kept on Caribou Road. He won’t be detrimental to East Street in the future.”

 

“He’s a great addition to this community – a very good businessman.”

 

Caribou Shopping Center Manager Barbara Hardt said she has known Heath for 35 years. He does plowing for the shopping center, and she knows he keeps his sites very clean. The propane company is going to be there several more years, so it would make sense to have someone on the property.

 

Speaking against it, Resident Randy Lee said so much for Barker Meadow Park. It’s a propane farm and sea of cars. Why not add heavy equipment? This could be very long term.

 

Trustee Dallas Masters said he doesn’t believe this will create a lot of traffic. The Town does have plans to turn it into a park, but he doesn’t think the Board should block a valid SRU.

 

“There’s no reason to deny it, and it’s perfectly reasonable giving existing use,” Masters said. The Board approved the SRU.

 

The Board met on November 21 and p.m. December 5, at the Nederland Community Center. Meeting coverage is available in print and online edition.

 

 

(Originally published in the November 23, 2017 print edition of The Mountain-Ear.)