Aberdeen Rejects Proposed Subdivision
By Tom Embrey
The Aberdeen Board of Commissioners denied a conditional use permit for a five-home subdivision on Wayland Road, with the mayor casting a rare and decisive vote.
In Aberdeen, the mayor only votes to break ties among the five-member board. Monday night, Commissioner Jim Thomas was absent from the meeting, leaving only four commissioners and the possibility of a tie vote.
After a lengthy discussion on the proposed permit, commissioner Alan Parker proposed approving the development with a lengthy list of conditions.
Commissioner Robbie Farrell concurred, but Commissioners Walter Wright and Pat Ann McMurray voted against approval, leaving Mayor Betsy Mofield to cast the deciding vote.
Following the denial, commissioners agreed to return $1,500 in engineering fees to the property owners.
Earlier in the meeting, Alan Cassavant, a representative of the applicant, expressed frustration during the board's deliberations.
"I got blindsided by this board," Cassavant said prior to a motion or a vote. "We have done everything asked of us; bent over backward. I thought we would be getting 'atta oys' for what we have done, but it's not happening."
The central issues were water drainage and an easement on property downstream from the proposed subdivision that engineers said likely would be necessary in the future in case there were drainage problems.
Cassavant had proposed catch basins as part of the design of the property to ease issues related to drainage on the property in question.
Town Planning Director Kathy Liles told the board that Cassavant's proposed solution was a "distinct improvement over what's happening out there now."
"We have an issue out there whether this project moves forward or not," Liles said.
Mofield also said she had concerns with safety, since the proposed development would be near the railroad tracks. She said she also was leery of removing trees that could act as a noise buffer.
"The concerns of this board is that we get this exactly right," Mofield said.
In other actions, the board approved an amendment to the town's development ordinances that would allow some setback relief for residents who own no conforming buildable lots. The changes would not make all the lots in town buildable, Town Planner Pam Graham said.
"There are some unusually configured lots that still won't be buildable," she said.
The town also voted to submit a community development block grant application for International Tray Pads and Packaging Inc. The grant is for $243,000 with an $81,000 local match. That sum would be split between the town, the county ($15,500 each) and the business ($50,00). The project is to improve the sewer lines. The company is proposing to create 33 new jobs.
Mofield also proclaimed this week Girl Scout Week. Several members of Aberdeen Girl Scout troops attended the meeting. Those in attendance started the meeting by leading attendees in the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or tembrey @thepilot.com.
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