Salisbury approves Dresser Woods affordable housing

Design concepts for the multi-family homes at the proposed Dresser Woods affordable housing complex in Salisbury.

Salisbury Housing Committee

Salisbury approves Dresser Woods affordable housing

SALISBURY — The Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) voted unanimously to approve a special permit for the Dresser Woods affordable housing development after the third installment of a public hearing on Monday, April 1.

The April 1 continued hearing concentrated on two topics: lighting and parking.

The initial plan from the applicant, the Salisbury Housing Committee (SHC) called for 31 parking spaces (10 in an overflow area) for an average of 1.5 parking spaces per unit, more than required by zoning regulations and similar to other affordable housing complexes in Salisbury and other towns.

The approved plan calls for a total of 36 spaces, for an average of 1.8 spaces per unit. The SHC added five spaces in response to concerns from the public and the commission about a lack of parking for residents with more than one vehicle and for visitors.

The SHC also revised the lighting plan, making the light poles 12 feet tall (as opposed to 20 feet in the earlier version). This was in response to concerns from neighbors about light spilling over into neighboring properties.

The applicant and commission also agreed to a “phantom parking” area where cars might park on the grass if necessary. The applicant’s lighting consultant, David Mainville, noted that if the phantom spaces are actually built, they will require lighting.

Referring to earlier discussion about closet space and other interior layout features, P&Z chair Michael Klemens opened the April 1 continued hearing by stating that previous discussions about interior layout (closets, space for washers and dryers) were beyond the commission’s purview.

The hearing opened Feb 20 and was continued on March 18.

On March 18, in response to comments from the Feb. 20 meeting, the SHC agreed to extend wildlife exclusion and privacy fencing.

The SHC’s Jocelyn Ayer said that adding full basements would be too expensive and would require more intrusive site work.

The plan for Dresser Woods, named for Jim Dresser, who donated the land to the SHC, has 20 rental units in nine buildings of one and two levels at 37 Railroad St. in Salisbury village.

There are six one-bedroom units, 10 two-bedroom units, and four three-bedroom units. Three are Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant.

The SHC currently owns and manages 39 affordable housing units (one, two and three bedrooms) at Faith House and Sarum Village I and II in Salisbury, and Lakeview Apartments in Lakeville.

Sarum Village III, on Cobble Road, is under construction. The new construction will add 10 units of affordable housing.

And the SHC is working on raising funds for the 12-unit Holley Place development on Main Street (Route 44).

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