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Nine-lot subdivision pitched near Otter Creek in Weybridge

WEYBRIDGE — The Weybridge Planning Commission on June 12 will hold its third review of a proposed nine-lot Planned Unit Development (PUD) that would be located off Morgan Horse Farm Road, adjacent to the Otter Creek.
The PUD — among the largest ever to be pitched in Weybridge — would be sited on approximately 2.1 acres of a 40.5-acre parcel owned by Robert and Yolanda Prigo.
“We intend to develop a nine-home, family-focused PUD, set deep into the hemlock grove among the moss-covered outcrops and away from any visibility of general public view,” reads a one-page project narrative included in the Morgan Horse Farm PUD application.
“We believe this development will be a place we all would like to live and something Weybridge can be proud of, giving new families an option to plant new roots into the community, support the school and civic needs of the town.”
New Haven resident Scott Hardy is spearheading the project, which he stressed is still very preliminary in nature and could change substantially based on feedback from Weybridge officials and residents.
As currently envisioned, the new homes — ranging in size from 1,500 to 2,300 square feet — would be clustered on lots ranging from 0.15 to 0.38 acres. Some of the homes could be served by communal water and septic systems; others would require their own, individual systems, according to Hardy.
Home sites would have two cars per household, and the project would require a curb cut on Morgan Horse Farm Road that would provide adequate site distance visibility for the posted 30-mph speed limit, according to the project narrative.
“Conifer-type visual screening will be planted to deter headlight broadcasting both toward the roadway and adjoining neighbors’ properties,” the narrative adds.
A central mailbox would be offered and trash/recycling amenities would be enclosed by a fence, according to the narrative.
Views and use of the nearby Otter Creek would be major selling points for the development, according to the applicants. The units would be at least 100 feet from the shoreline and around 20 feet above the creek, according to the narrative. Shared amenities would include a rack and shed for boats and canoes, along with a dock, according to the applicants. The narrative also alludes to a “possible play set,” a “chicken coop for those interested” and “ideally, a trail network would be explored to connect with the Trail Around Middlebury network.”
A smooth permitting process could allow construction of the development access road and site infrastructure as soon as this summer, according to the narrative. The applicants hope to have sold at least four lots prior to starting site work.
Weybridge Planning Commission member Jeff Olson said the project has generated some good discussion among neighbors and town officials.
“Nothing has been decided,” Olson said. “It’s a big subdivision for Weybridge.”
He noted the proposed PUD is in Weybridge’s Otter Creek Gorge district closer to the northern end of Morgan Horse Farm Road.
“It doesn’t prohibit development, but there’s a lot of language (in the town plan) about keeping that area pristine,” Olson said of the Otter Creek Gorge district.
Local residents voiced some concerns about the proposed PUD during an April 10 planning commission meeting.
Minutes of that meeting indicate Deb Brisson, a close neighbor of the Prigo site, said she was worried that nine new wells on the property could affect limited water availability in the area.
Fire protection was also cited as a concern at the meeting. A dry hydrant can’t be sited near the Otter Creek, so plans call for a pond to be created off Morgan Horse Farm Road to provide water for firefighters. Weybridge Fire Chief Bill Sinks questioned whether the pond would be full year-round.
Some neighbors and abutters are anxious about about the length (2,300 feet) and grade (12 percent) of the proposed driveway, which they fear would require a lot of blasting to construct, according to the minutes.
Reporter John Flowers is at johnf@addisonindependent.com.

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