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04/24/2008

By Kara Herlihy

"It's time to move ahead with the town garage," said Moretown Select Board member Rae Washburn at the April 21 meeting. The voter-approved town garage project was previously denied a conditional use permit by the Moretown Development Review Board (DRB).

The application returns to the DRB Thursday, April 24, when evidence from the original application concerning storm water runoff and landscaping plans will be revisited. Washburn said, "They can't deny the permit; they can only regulate it."

STORM WATER ISSUES

In their notice of decision the DRB wrote, "The board finds it cannot approve the application as presently submitted" due to the failure to address storm water issues.

It continues later, "The initial submittal contemplated the front and north sides of the building would be paved, although during the pending period of the application it was suggested a stay mat material be utilized, apparently to diminish storm water flows."

The DRB found that without the engineer's report, they could not conclude that "the renovated facility, as proposed, meets the conditional use criteria."

RETENTION OF AN ENGINEER

The select board then issued a statement that said they were "unwilling to authorize retention of an engineer because it did not want to expend town monies until it was clear that the site would be permitted by the DRB."

Washburn said that there are things that can be done without the permit, including getting the space checked for asbestos for $500, getting the structural drawings done and purchasing the property.

DEMOLISH THE BUILDING

"We can't purchase the property without the permit," said select board member, Paula Mastroberardino.

The project calls for the tearing down of the existing town garage space and rebuilding a new one in its place. At the April 21 meeting, select board members and town officials questioned whether they should demolish the building outright, or consult a salvage company to reuse housing materials.

The new garage space, as proposed, would be wider and longer so it could hold all of the town's equipment and allow the road crew to service the equipment inside the building. The building will have a footprint of 60 by 110 feet and have three entrance bays on Route 100B.

The Moretown DRB hearing will be held Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m. at the town offices.

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