Acushnet Planning Board Approves Key Land and Solar Project Adjustments

In a recent meeting, the Acushnet Planning Board approved significant modifications to local land developments and addressed the concerns of residents regarding a solar project. The meeting centered on a range of subjects including the continuation of a public hearing for a proposed subdivision, the approval of a driveway improvement plan, a debate over the necessity of a special permit for a driveway construction easement, and the discussion of a land division proposal. Additionally, the board addressed a issue regarding the screening for a new solar field.

The board conducted a public hearing for a proposed subdivision on Keen Road, which has been subject to revisions following input from both the board and the public. The latest plan was dated March 25th, 2024, and the public hearing was continued to August 8th, 2024, to allow for the completion of a storm water peer review expected by July 24th.

Another focal point of the meeting was the driveway improvement plan for an existing gravel driveway, which aimed to elevate it to planning board standards. This driveway has been historically used for agricultural-related purposes and serves as access to an existing dwelling and a newly created residential lot. The plan included a paved apron at the entrance and a designated gravel turnaround for emergency, construction, and delivery vehicles. Furthermore, the applicant proposed a declaration of easements and restrictions to ensure the driveway’s maintenance in perpetuity. During the discussion, the board and the applicant explored the ramifications of an existing right of way and its future use, which would require further legal clarification.

The board also deliberated over a special permit for a common driveway construction easement plan, highlighting the importance of easements in ensuring access and utility sharing between two lots, and the risks associated with the absence of such legal arrangements. The plans were approved with the condition that the necessary easements be established for both lots prior to the issuance of building permits.

Additionally, the board reviewed a proposal by Outback Engineering Inc for the division of land to create two separate lots. The board scrutinized the details of the proposal, including frontage, area, and setbacks, and subsequently approved the division as presented.

A significant portion of the meeting was dedicated to addressing the screening concerns of a nearby solar field. Residents’ concerns prompted a review of correspondence from the proponent and a search for a compromise. The board was particularly concerned about the effectiveness of the installed fence and the type of screening used. The discussion spanned the adequacy of the screening, the success rate of vegetative plantings, and the need for ongoing replacements. After a debate, the board consented to the installation of a Perma screen, with additional considerations regarding its color.

Note: This meeting summary was generated by AI, which can occasionally misspell names, misattribute actions, and state inaccuracies. This summary is intended to be a starting point and you should review the meeting record linked above before acting on anything you read. If we got something wrong, let us know. We’re working every day to improve our process in pursuit of universal local government transparency.
Town Administrator:
James Kelley
Planning Board Officials:
Steven Boucher, Richard A. Ellis, Bryan Deschamps, David M. Davignon, Mark Francois, Paul Sullivan (Administrative Assistant)

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