Planning Board Annual Report for 2000, January 8, 2001

The Planning Board would like to welcome Wayne Stacy as our newest member. Wayne was elected in April 2000 to fill the vacancy left by John Brodie.

We have had a busy year with two new proposed subdivisions and three site plan review applications. One subdivision proposed by William Carson of Ansac Corp. was approved for four house lots off Allen Road. The cul-de-sac will be named Daley Drive after the Ashby resident, Mr. Daley, who was killed in the Civil War. The other subdivision, proposed by David Fenton of Mt. Watatic Nominee Trust for four lots is in the public hearing process pending Planning Board action. The subdivision off Mason Road is nearing completion with the new road name of Churchill Drive again commemorating one of Ashby's Civil War casualties. We'd like to thank the Highway Superintendent for his guidance regarding road construction and planning. The Board plans to review our rules & regulations in this regard pursuant to his comments.

The Planning Board developed a site plan review process in order to have the opportunity to exercise oversight with new commercial development as well as with the expansion of commercial uses. This process allows the residents to have input into proposed commercial development. Resident comment has been of great value to the board during the three-site plan special permit applications this year. Our first application was with the Shackleton School located on Springhill Road. They intend to develop the land in order to operate a facility of approximately 100 live-in high school students and faculty. Our second site plan application came from the Tavern Realty Trust regarding the new US Post Office. The third application is from Mt. Watatic Nominee Trust for an access road to the summit of the mountain for a wireless communications facility located in Ashburnham. This application is on going into 2001.

The Open Space and Recreation Plan was completed and approved by the Division of Conservation Services (EOCD) in the spring. This document allowed us to apply for the Self-help grant to aid in our efforts to purchase Mt. Watatic. We were very pleased to be awarded a grant in the amount of $250,000 from the state for this effort. This Plan is the work of a number of residents whose assistance was invaluable and special credit goes to the Conservation Commission for leading the effort.

Wireless Communication facilities made their debut in Ashby this year. The Planning Board introduced an amendment to modify our wireless communication bylaw to require camouflaging which passed at the special Town Meeting in November 2000. This amendment was in response to resident comment and we hope will address some of the their concerns.

Respectfully Submitted,

James Hargraves, Alan Pease, Jean Lindquist, Anthony Batista, Wayne Stacy