By Kara Herlihy

The Moretown Development Review Board (DRB) denied an application for a conditional use permit for the new, voter-approved town garage. The DRB cited failure to address how "existing and increased storm water flows will be addressed."

Town Garage Committee members and principle spokespeople for the project, Hoover Austin and Doug Reed, were present at the March 7 meeting of the Moretown Select Board to report upon and question the DRB's denial of the application.

The project calls for the tearing down of the existing town garage space and rebuilding a new one in its place. A hand-drawn site plan along with architectural drawings and a floor plan were all submitted, and the first hearing was held on December 20, 2007.

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.

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 may be utilized, apparently to diminish storm water flows."

"In contrast to the issue of wastewater disposal (which will clearly require a state permit) the board cannot simply 'condition' this issue by stating the Town must get a state permit, or design an appropriate system, because we have no sense what an appropriate system may be (or even if one is require) without an underlying engineering analysis."

A statement was issued from the Select Board at the January 31 hearing that 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."

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

The board has issued the denial but has left the door open for the select board to request that the application be reopened "should the town submit in support therewith a professional analysis of existing and increased storm water flows, and specifies how and in what manner they will be addressed."

At Town Meeting on March 4, town voters approved a $900,000 article for the purchase of a 2.5-acre parcel adjacent to the town-owned property and to construct a new town garage at its current location on Route 100B.

The zoning administrator has 30 days to formally process the DRB's denial.