After being unexpectedly sent packing by the Pamelia Town Council at its meeting in February, a developer seeking approval of a site plan it needs to break ground on a housing project this spring will try again in March.
But the sticking point that stymied the approval then has not been remedied, and the town supervisor said he has no intention of changing his vote.
Accurate Development of Salisbury, Md., had sought authorization of an expired 42-acre planned development district for a large-scale project to build 29 single-family houses and 39 duplexes on land owned by Pamelia resident Clair G. Raible. But a rift was caused when the developer found out last month that Supervisor Lawrence C. Longway is unwilling to approve an agreement until the property is purchased.
Project principal Dennis P. Silvester, who was among the group of seven of the developers employees who traveled from North Carolina and Maryland to attend the meeting, said Tuesday hes optimistic a deal will be reached with the council at its meeting March 12.
Although the developer hasnt directly contacted Mr. Longway or the towns attorney, he said, the deal will be negotiated by civil engineer Matthew R. Morgia from Aubertine & Currier Architects, Watertown, on the developers behalf. While the proposal the developer is seeking to have approved will be the same one that was rejected last month, Mr. Silvester said he is confident a deal will be reached. The agreement would require the town to conditionally approve the site plan for the project based on when the developer purchases the land.
This was simply a misunderstanding that was miscommunicated. They were planning on giving me exactly what I asked for, which was the conditional approval, Mr. Silvester said.
At Februarys board meeting in which the plan was rejected, Mr. Silvester accused Mr. Longway of having a conflict of interest as an independent housing developer and threatened to pursue legal action.
Mr. Longway said Monday he hadnt been contacted by the developer since the meeting and has no intention of approving a conditional agreement.
Ive heard nothing from the developer yet, he said. Mr. Silvester blew up at the meeting last month and hasnt called me since.
Mr. Longway said the town had approved the site plan for developers in the past that sought to build housing on the land, but all of them ended up backing out of the projects. He said thats why the town would like to see the developer purchase the property first.
All of these different developers said they were going to build on the land tomorrow and didnt, he said. Were trying to get this process approved, but we dont want to do it unless theres going to be action.
Mr. Morgia said hes been contacted by the developer to reach an agreement with the town to have the proposal approved in March.
I think theres been a lot of miscommunication and misunderstanding about what people thought was going to happen, he said. The developer was looking for a firmer commitment to the resolution at the meeting, and Im optimistic well be able to approve the resolution.
Mr. Morgia added that the developer, who has been discussing the plans with the town since December, needs to have the plan approved in March to break ground on the project in April.
Im sure there will be some discussions back and forth with the towns attorney and supervisor, but I dont think there are any insurmountable issues, he said.