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Cedar Ridge permit amendment approved by Wilbraham Planning Board

Date: 10/16/2014

WILBRAHAM – The Planning Board voted to approve an amendment to a special permit for Cedar Ridge to include 12 additional family condominium housing units near the existing location off Stony Hill Road at its Sept. 23 meeting.

Planning Director John Pearsall said the board reviewed a draft decision to approve the project with conditions such as a landscape buffer between the abutters, the site, and where landscaping is lacking in the current project. There are about 30 special conditions in total.

Pearsall said the project began in 2006 and has been amended once and has administrative changes approved in the past. This current amended special permit would incorporate existing and new conditions.

“The important thing is what this is allowing them to do is build 12 condominium units on land that they are purchasing on Stony Hill Road adjacent to the project,” he added. “They’re permitted for 218 units total.”

The total number of units is not changing, Pearsall explained. Cedar Ridge would reconfigure its existing properties to stay within the 218-unit limit and would not expand beyond that.

The project now consists of almost 97 acres of land, he said. The 12 additional units are on roughly three and a half acres. Originally, the project started as a 75-acre project.

“Each condominium is its own detached building,” Pearsall noted. “The actual size will depend on what the market demands but they’ll be very similar in style and footprint with the ones existing up there now.”

Thus far, about 40 condominium units have been built or are under construction on the property, he added.

Each unit is generally single-floored with a loft and most units also have a basement.

“It’s obviously market driven,” Pearsall explained. “They’re being very cautious and conservative and they’re only building units when they have buyers because everything today is more or less custom built.”

Kent Pecoy, the manager of the Mile Oak Land Holdings LLC for Cedar Ridge, said the project began during the 2008 economic recession and sales for units saw a decline. Loan interest is still being paid for the property purchased from the Corriveau family.

“I’m sure they were hoping that it would be built out faster but it’s more just a sign of the general real estate,” Pearsall added.

The board hosted a public hearing at its July 30 meeting, which included neighbors, abutters, and community members both in favor and opposed to the project, he stated.

“Once the decision’s prepared and finished, we file it with the town clerk,” Pearsall explained. “We send the decision to the applicant and all of the abutters that require notification under state law.

“And there’s a 20-day appeal period where people who feel aggrieved by the decision, they have the legal rights of appeal,” he added.

Pecoy, at the board’s July 30 meeting, said he would be willing to put in 25 pine trees as a landscaping buffer for the additional units near Fernwood Drive.

“We’re hoping that [the condominium units] won’t been seen from the roads,” Pecoy stated at the board’s Sept. 23 meeting.

Pearsall said a stop sign at the end of Cedar Ridge Drive and Stony Hill Road will be recommended to the Board of Selectmen. The area does not see a high volume of traffic, but it does see speeding. 

 The project’s hours of construction are from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.