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Auburn planning board to weigh in on condo development

AUBURN -- The town may see a significant condominium development gradually come to town, with the planning board set to weigh in on a Manchester realty firm's 2012 application.

The development, called The Village at Mount Minor, has been proposed by Doxon Realty Trust. It is planned as 12 single family homes on 32 acres and 39 self-standing condos on about 120 acres, though only about 32 acres will actually be developed. In total, about 88 acres of land in the lots, which are off Harvard Avenue, will be left undeveloped.

According William Bergeron of Hayes Engineering, who presented the project to the board on behalf of Doxon Realty on Nov. 14, 2012, the clustering of the condo homes is designed "to retain as much open space as possible to maintain the character of the land." The clustered condo homes, which will be designed to attract people over 55, will be between 1,600 and 2,500 square feet, and will include three bedrooms and a two-car garage. There are six different models, some single-story and some with two floors.

The application for the subdivision of the property was accepted by the board on Nov. 14, but has not yet been approved. The public hearing opened on the application was set to conclude at the planning board's Jan. 16 meeting, but it was rescheduled to today. The planning board could vote on the application at that meeting.

Should the project be approved, the development would be built in phases, given that Auburn grants a limited number of building permits in a year. According to Bergeron, the work would be done over an eight-year period at a rate of seven or eight permits a year.

Several concerns have been raised by the town's engineering consultant, Stantec. The town and the developers have spent the last several months discussing the outstanding issues and concerns.

Stantec responded to the application in November with a list of 101 notes. Working together with Bergeron, the list was pared down to 15. Concerns included the necessity and maintenance costs of granite curbing, fencing around storm water detention basins and the septic situation for the condos. Every three condos, while having their own well, will share a septic tank.

According to the town's attorney, Nicholas Lazos, the concerns were largely policy issues that required the board's review.

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