By Erin Post

With a compromise regarding road access in place, a nine-lot subdivision off the Sugarbush Access Road in Warren sailed through final plan approval March 7.

The subdivision, to be located across from the Paradise Deli near the Sugartree Inn, had sparked discussion about whether the town should preserve the option for a future public road through the property.

Local officials cited traffic hang-ups near Sugarbush at peak ski times as well as emergency access to slope side condos as reasons to consider possible locations for future roads.

However, after an attorney advised the town that mandating such a road through the subdivision would amount to a taking by eminent domain, the board dropped the request for a public road easement and brokered a compromise with representatives from LBO LLC.

The DRB required the applicant, LBO LLC, to extend the easement for the subdivision's development road from the access road to the property boundary, allowing for a public right of way to Sugarbush Village if future growth necessitates it.

DRB members at the time said the compromise allows the town to adhere to land use regulations, which ask the board to consider road connectivity, while it also permits LBO LLC to proceed with the development as planned.

Given other options, DRB members agreed the likelihood was minimal that a public road would be built through the property.

With that compromise set, the subdivision proceeded through the rest of the local permitting process with little debate.

On March 7, LBO LLC representatives presented a revised plan for a public path easement along the Sugarbush Access Road that they said would save trees from being cut down.

LBO LLC representative Mike Krongel also told the board they decided against pursuing a sign permit at this time.

Whether sprinkler systems should be required for houses bigger than 3,000 square feet, as requested by the fire department in a letter referenced by the DRB, prompted a discussion about standards across town.

DRB member Virginia Roth questioned whether all new buildings should include sprinkler systems for fire safety, if the DRB was going to require them for this subdivision.

Location generally plays a role when it comes to sprinkler requirements, said DRB member David Markolf, pointing out that smaller homes may require sprinklers if they are in a steep or remote area difficult for the firefighters to access.

The motion that required houses in the subdivision greater than 3,000 square feet be protected with sprinklers passed with Roth the lone 'no' vote.

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