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March 10. 2014 8:04PM

Senior housing project's wetlands request is tabled

SALEM — The Conservation Commission has tabled action on several wetlands issues at a proposed 46-unit senior housing project off Pond Street until its April meeting.

Last week, engineers for the developer sought the commission’s approval for a prime wetlands re-delineation for the 25-plus acre property as well as permission to fill just under 3,000 square feet of wetlands for a road crossing.

An independent review of the prime wetlands re-delineation determined that there were no issues with it.

Town Planning Director Ross Moldoff said he had no issue with the Conservation Commission taking action on either the re-delineation or the road crossing, although he said he would like to see more details about mitigation for some minor wetland buffer zone impacts proposed by the developer.

Several commission members, however, said they were concerned about the re-delineation because the engineer did not provide detailed plans at last week’s commission meeting.

Commission member Thomas Campbell said he would not support any motion to approve the re-delineation without seeing the detailed plans.

The commission unanimously voted to table the issue to its April meeting.

The proposed Stone Bridge Estates Active Adult Community is in one of the town’s senior overlay districts, which means it would be allowed by zoning ordinance.

The total area of the property owned by Tim Oriole is more than 25 acres. The area is rurally zoned, which requires two-acre home lots.

Under the guidelines of the senior overlay district, however, the town would allow two houses per acre.

Project engineer Karl Dubay of the Dubay Group said the goal of the developer is to have a high quality, active adult community that would be an asset for the town of Salem.

Under the senior housing guidelines, the individual homes would be owned by people over the age of 55.

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