In a close vote, town officials in Warren denied a request for a road access permit on German Flats Road; the applicant is John Fox and John Grenier, a Charles Grenier consulting engineer. The decision followed a site visit and public hearing on May 24.
The road access was proposed for the Medico property that sits approximately one mile from the intersection of German Flats Road and the Sugarbush Access Road in Warren. Select board members cited insufficient site distance and concerns about traffic flow as reasons for the permit denial.
Town officials considered the proposal originally under the contingency that an 18-inch culvert be installed and that the applicant demonstrate that a certified engineer’s stamp that the proposed access meet all the necessary state criteria.
Select board chair Andy Cunningham told the applicant that he was disappointed that the engineer was unable to attend the site visit last Tuesday, May 24. Select board member Anson Montgomery said, “I think we should approve it. The site line, up and down, is difficult and it would be a shame to just say no, so I was disappointed. We invited the engineers, but they weren’t able to come.
“I’m not an engineer, but it’s definitely a challenging corner to come out. I’m not saying it couldn’t be done; with proper engineering, I would be in favor of granting it with a number of conditions,” Montgomery continued.
Select board member Matt Groom said he was “absolutely in favor of this. When you deny something like this, you deny them the value of their land. Often there are solutions that are presented to us.”
Cunningham said, “I think we should also mention that there are three maples to the north. They are large and would need to come out.”
Cunningham also cited his concerns about the speed of traffic around the corner, especially in the winter months where increased traffic and road conditions become a factor.
“This is a vote that says that the town is okay with people going 40 miles per hour around that corner at rush hour in the middle of winter from Sugarbush North to Sugarbush South; that’s what we’re talking about and that’s the moment where this works or falls apart,” he said.
Warren Department of Public Works director Barry Simpson said that the applicant would need to build a level apron back to the edge of the road.
“There’s going to be a lot of water coming down the uphill side of the road. That’s why it should have an 18-inch culvert and some sort of drainage,” Simpson said.
Select board members Kirsten Reilly and Bob Ackland abstained from the vote; the permit was denied because there needs to be three positive votes in order to pass a binding resolution.
Cunningham said, “I’m sorry, Mr. Fox. We have not allowed the permit. In the situation I described, it would be too dangerous and there are many other homes on the same road.”
Fox said he “just appreciates the decision getting made.”
The next meeting of the Warren Select Board is scheduled for Tuesday, June 7, at 7 p.m. To view the agenda, visit www.warrenvt.org.