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Deerfield neighbors wary of subdivision proposal

Neighbors of North Main Street questioned the Planning Board last week to find out how a proposal made by resident Robert Decker would impact their homes.

Many residents were against the proposal, believing more homes’ values would be hurt.

The proposal would include 36 properties, but only seven have enough frontage to subdivide. Bloody Brook, which is regulated by the state River Protection Act, would also prevent some lots from being split.

The Planning Board can revise the proposal and any recommendation would go before the townspeople for final approval at town meeting. The Planning Board continued the public hearing to April 1.

The proposal would rezone the area along North Main Street from Captain Lathrop Drive north to the railroad bridge to central village residential district. Part of the north end of North Main Street is located within the residential/agricultural district or the industrial district.

The proposal would reduce their frontage requirement allowing construction of an additional house. The main difference is the residential/agricultural zone requires a minimum lot size of 60,000 square feet with 200 feet of frontage. The central village residential district sets minimum lot size of 12,000 square feet with 100 feet of frontage.

This is the part of the proposal that caused the most concern from residents, who were against more houses on their street.

“I don’t see the benefit to most of us homeowners,” said resident Eva Tor. “The reason I bought a home there is it’s a little quieter. I don’t think opening it up to more development would benefit.” To build a two-family house, however, a lot needs 125 feet of frontage.

Decker first made the proposal to the Planning Board more than a year ago. He hopes to build a second home at 198 North Main St. “I have a piece of property I’d like to do something with,” Decker said. “I don’t think anyone would get hurt by my proposal.” Pelican Products, Inc. owns and uses two driveways that are zoned central village residential district in that area.

The original Planning Board proposal would have re-zoned four parcels, which are mostly farmland, to industrial. Planning Board Chairman John Waite said the town planners would propose re-zoning only the two driveways. This would give Pelican access to the road.

Decker made another proposal to create an overlay district of central village residential district uses over the industrial district areas. Decker said this would allow for both uses.

Both ideas would solve the problem in that the North Main Street frontage of those lots is in the central village residential district, but the back portions are in the industrial district.

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