BERLIN — A public hearing on a proposed 18-lot subdivision on West Lane near Ragged Mountain is scheduled during the next Planning and Zoning Commission meeting on Thursday.
The site plan under consideration would convert a 15-acre lot currently zoned for agricultural use, but going unused, into a cul-de-sac just west of Woodsedge Court with 15 homes and an additional three on West Lane. Property owner and developer Earl Wicklund Inc. did not respond to requests for comment.
Town Planner Mark Kozikowski said the commission looked at two proposals for the site, one more traditional layout which would require the construction of two cul-de-sacs and less open space left after development in order to meet the plot shape and size the town typically looks for. The second open space type design would have more unconventional plot shapes to fit the 15 homes on one cul-de-sac and would leave 40 percent of the parcel as open space, versus 10 percent in the traditional plan.
“The open space subdivision was a significantly better plan,” due to the need for only one road and a greater amount of open space, Kozikowski said. The commission threw its support behind the latter plan as well and will be soliciting public input during its June 6 meeting at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall.
The subdivision would be around 2,000 feet from the trailhead for Ragged Mountain and would leave a 5.4 acre chunk of open land on the west side of the new road, which Kozikowski said the Berlin Land Trust has expressed interest in acquiring. An additional 0.75 acre open space block would abut the property owner to the east.
The Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission will also be holding a public hearing on Tuesday to examine vernal pools on the site. The developer had come before the commission at a previous meeting, but members requested additional information to allow them to evaluate the sensitivity of the pools, said Deputy Public Works Director Jim Horbal. In general, such pools serve as a seasonal habitat for breeding amphibians in the spring.