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Local developer hopes to build 10 housing units on Stony Hill Road

Date: 9/3/2015

WILBRAHAM – A developer with hopes to create 10 housing units on Stony Hill Road came before the Planning Board at its Aug. 19 meeting.

Planning Director John Pearsall later told Reminder Publications the petitioner and project developer Kevin Schulen hopes to create the housing progect on 13.5 acres of land on Stony Hill Road. Schulen owns 35.5 acres of land in the area.

He added that developing company, 911 Stony Hill Road LLC, which is owned by Schulen, has had wetlands mapped throughout the proposed development area and received a positive confirmation for the project from the Conservation Commission during its July 14 meeting.

Schulen and the project’s engineer, John Masik of R. Levesque Associates met with the Planning Board for an appointment regarding a preliminary subdivision, which was approved by the board.

Pearsall said the preliminary subdivision approval is an advisory non-binding decision in which the board would make a set of recommendations to the petitioner, who could then chose to follow or ignore those recommendations if the project moves forward.

The next stage would entail a public hearing and a more in depth study of the project’s data engineering data, he added.

Masik said a drainage basin in proposed in the preliminary that would handle storm water.

“Schematically we’re showing the storm water being collected in the roadway, running down the gutter line of the street to catch basins that are right at the throat of the cul-de-sac – adjacent to the Stony Hill Road intersection – from which point they would enter a drainage manhole of some sorts and be piped into a low point that would be created in the ground,” he added.

Typically basins are between four to six feet deep, he noted.

Before the project comes before the board for a definitive subdivision hearing, the petitioner would complete percolation tests of the basin, Masik said.  

Several residents of Stony Hill Road expressed their concerns regarding the proposed housing development.

Bob Page, a resident of 903 Stony Hill Road, said he believes his property would become diminished in value because two houses would be located near his wooded lands.

“Part of the joy of living in a community like Wilbraham is that isn’t wall to wall houses every way you look,” he added.

Paul Bianco, a resident of Stony Hill Road, said his family sold the land to Schulen with the intent that it would not be developed.

“We were told [by people in the town] that we had an idea of how much [land] was wet and how much was dry ... We were told it would be quite silly to build down here,” he said.

Pearsall, during the meeting, said no one contacted him in the past regarding the land and he would never give any individual advice regarding building on a site without reviewing conceptual designs first.

Planning Board Chair Jeffrey Smith said he believes a stream on the property should be examined in more detail.

“You’ve got a business owner who invested and if he goes through the steps, then he has a right to build on the land if he follows all the legal requirements,” he added.

Masik said members of the project are aware of overland run-off during springtime.

“We will certainly, in some way, address that, for a grading, for our storm water,” he added. “We are aware of it – it’s been looked at by professionals.”

In other business, Pearsall told the board a draft decision regarding a potential ground-mounted solar array at 651 Main St., which was petitioned by Kingston-based renewable energy developer No Fossil Fuel, had not been completed by the meeting date.

He noted that the draft decision would likely come before the board at its next meeting on Sept. 16.