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MILTON: One drive, 12 lots

After 12 months of revamping and redrafting plans for a housing unit on Middleline Road in Milton, the town's planning board gave the go-ahead Wednesday, June 13, for the builder to proceed.

Land developer Derrick Miller rolled out a new blueprint for the 12-lot neighborhood that responded to the planning board's directives.

The subdivision is on property formerly owned by Thomas and Mona Clear.

At issue was the delineation and commitment to preserving wetlands, and also working within the many constraints for setbacks and roadway accessibility.

In April, board members were concerned with the entry driveway to the development being able to sustain the weight of fire-fighting equipment in the event of an emergency.

The entrance will now support 90,000 pounds of apparatus, said Miller.

Miller's original plans have been drastically altered through the planning review process. They now call for a shared driveway for all the homeowners to enter their property from Middleline Road.

Planning board members questioned the appeal of this shared driveway, and Miller said it is a format that would either entice homeowners or lead them to buy elsewhere.

"I've built this type of subdivision before, and people either buy into it or walk away," said Miller. "Some people don't want to know their neighbors that well. I have another site on Goode Street (in Ballston Lake) where one homeowner bought a plow and they pass around the key taking turns clearing the common road."

Miller said he would be responsible for maintaining the shared entryway until the final house was occupied, at which time he would relinquish the maintenance to the property owners.

Miller cited wetland constraints as one of the major hurdles facing builders today.

"We've done the best we can with what we have," said Miller. "The combined driveway is being done more and more as a planning tool. The wetland mandates kill us; you have to walk such a fine line."

Planning board members applauded Miller's commitment to working within the many regulations.

"You've done a good job responding to our needs and complying," said board member Benny Zlotnick.

There was no public comment during the allotted time for concerns from town residents on the project. With a few stipulations in their vote, the board unanimously gave the project permission to move on to the next step, an environmental review proving the subdivision would have no negative effect on the area. ""

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