The Pamelia Town Council reversed direction Monday and conditionally approved a developers request for a site plan.
But the board included an unexpected caveat in its vote that could delay the developers timeline for the project. The contingency will compel the developer, Accurate Development of Salisbury, Md., to alter its plans for connecting houses to the sewer line bordering the 42 acres of property on Route 37. The developer which had no employees at the meeting will now have to connect all of the houses it builds to a gravity sewer line, rather than to a forced sewer main closer by, a plan it had developed blueprints to do.
The developer plans to build 29 single-family houses and 39 duplexes on land owned by Pamelia resident Clair G. Raible for the project. Accurate Development had hoped to break ground in April.
That timetable will likely be delayed, however, as the developer will now need to submit the new plan for approval by the state Department of Environmental Conservation to move forward with the project. Representing the developer at the meeting, Civil Engineer Matthew R. Morgia from Aubertine & Currier Architects, Watertown, said that changing the sewer plan shouldnt be an issue but that he needs to consult with company officials about it for approval.
Its going to be a matter of how long it takes to get an application approved by the DEC to make this happen, which could take a couple of months, he said.
Originally, the developer wanted to connect 29 single-family houses to the towns forced sewer main, which is closer to the property it plans to build on. It would have waited to connect those houses to the gravity sewer system until the 39 duplexes, located behind the first batch of homes, were built.
But that plan could have caused issues with the sewer system by connecting too many homes to the forced sewer main, which already services numerous residents along Route 37, Supervisor Lawrence C. Longway said. The gravity system, which transports sewage without using a pump, has a larger capacity to accommodate the housing.
We cant have two flows going into that system at once and run the risk of backing up the flow and screwing up the system, he said. I would feel more comfortable if all of this went into the gravity system.
Mr. Longway added that the project principal for the developer, Dennis P. Silvester, should have been aware of the towns concern about the sewer line. Mr. Silvester, who traveled with a group of seven other employees from North Carolina and Maryland to attend the meeting last month, had claimed at that time that all of the plans for the project were approved, even though the sewer line was still a bone of contention.
Ever since Ive spoken with him, Ive told him what the town wanted to do, Mr. Longway said, adding that he hasnt been contacted by Mr. Silvester since the last meeting. At that meeting, Mr. Silvester accused Mr. Longway of having a conflict of interest as a housing developer and threatened to seek legal action.
Mr. Silvester could not be reached for comment Monday evening.
In total, the developer plans to purchase 117 acres of property for the project from Mr. Raible. Following the first phase of construction, the developer would seek to build an additional 400 housing units on the additional 65 acres of land.