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MALTA: Concerns dot Plains Road plan

The Malta Planning Board continued an ongoing public hearing related to a proposed project on Plains Road on Tuesday, Dec. 19, but the hearing was adjourned without resolution as residents continued to voice concerns about access to the site.

Even though the applicant had made changes to the density and site layout of Planned Development District No. 9, the board decided to hold another hearing until more information is learned about the project's proposed entrance and pathway along Plains Road.

The board asked that the applicant's traffic engineer get together with the town engineer and several Plains Road residents to physically examine the most appropriate site for the main access to the new development.

I think it is dangerous to have access on Plains Road, said Steve Barton, one of the neighbors to the site. "I just caution you . . . there are going to be accidents galore."

Barton said that the road has both a bend and a hill. The 60-acre proposed development site abuts Plains Road and several other parcels. There is no access to Kramer Road or 9P, as suggested by planning board members and area residents, from the site.

Although traffic studies have been completed indicating that the two locations proposed for the main access would be appropriate, area residents have, at each of the hearings, offered comment on the dangers of traveling Plains Road, particularly in the winter.

Plains Road resident, Warren DePace had previously requested that the applicant review its initial location of the main access road and place it at another site along the road so that it would not be directly across from his driveway.

The revised design discussed Tuesday switched the main access road with the emergency access road, a move that resulted in the main access road being placed on a steeper section of the hill. Chairman Peter Klotz expressed concern about the new location, citing winter weather as making a bad situation even more dangerous for residents trying to make an unassisted left-hand turn into the development.

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