There are many options to rectify a payment plan issue with Duxbury Estates, the Planning Board discussed at length Monday night.
Tom Giacchetto, through Duxbury Estates, LLC, presented a revised payment plan to the board Monday night, detailing a payment schedule for the 45-unit, age restricted (over 55) townhouse development in order to complete the project.
Planning Director Tom Broadrick drafted a memo regarding the project, detailing his findings through document research on the process of approving the project and payment plan in 2007.
After reviewing all the information in the files, Broadrick said he has come to the conclusion that the board should honor the “fee in lieu of” agreement currently in effect.
Broadrick said the median new home sales price for the zoning bylaw was provided by the assessor using the 2004, 2005, and 2006 fiscal year data. The purchase price of a home was also correctly determined, Broadrick found.
“Therefore, the $1.35 million is correct,” he said. “I believe the applicant has agreed to that by giving us a revised payment plan.”
The determination of the schedule was done correctly according to the zoning bylaw, Broadrick said. According to the original payment plan, the first 36 building permits would require payments of $37,500 for each permit. At the time of the 36th permit, the project would be 80 percent complete, and no fees would be left to pay, as required by the zoning bylaw.
While Broadrick said his predecessor did the calculations correctly, somewhere between the correct calculation of the fee and the correct determination of the schedule, an agreement was reached for a payment plan that is in violation of the zoning bylaw
“I have no knowledge of how that agreement was reached,” he said. “Therefore, I recommend keeping the existing agreement.”
So far, 21 permits have been issued to the project. Each of the permits should have been accompanied by a payment of $37,500 according to the bylaw. However, only one payment of $135,000 has been paid to the town. If a payment of $270,00 is made, Broadrick said, the project could receive the next building permit.
“A new agreement would require total compliance with the zoning bylaw,” Broadrick said. “That would require new calculations and immediate payment on the 21 permits issued to date.”
Through a lengthy discussion about the role of the planning board in determining what its role is in revising the payment plan, board members asked Broadrick to discuss the situation with town counsel.
“We are not permitted to violate zoning bylaw, provide any exceptions to the zoning bylaw, that is a Board of Appeals thing,” said George Wadsworth, Planning Board chairman. “We can’t make something up that is not in the zoning bylaw.”
Giacchetto will meet with the Zoning Board of Appeals on Thursday night to discuss further options for the payment plan.