Malta medical complex takes shape

"You're going down from the property line almost 30 feet in elevation you're going to create a big basin," said Smith.

Mark Hammond, a 25-year resident of Hearn Road, lives just 60 feet from the edge of the proposed development.

"I'm not opposed to this," said Hammond, "but I do have concerns."

Aside from worrying that disturbing the flow of water to the Drummond Creek could affect his well, Hammond said he fears the development could present an eyesore. His property would overlook the proposed 350-space parking lot as well as the roof of the complex. "I would like to continue looking out of my window and seeing trees," said Hammond. "I don't want to feel like I'm living in the middle of some type of industrial complex."

Ward said Hearn Road residents might take solace in the fact the proposed development is being planned in a "green" style. The possibility of a green roof " featuring foliage rather than asphalt " was discussed, as was the possibility of creating bike and hiking trails on the unused land for area residents' use.

"The idea is to positively impact the community," said Ward. "The architecture of this building, the scope of it, is going to be as organic and seamless as we can possibly make it."

The project still has a long way to go before ground can be broken. Soil samples must be taken and the effects of development on the parcel's steep grades must be assessed. Numerous permits must also be acquired from the town before a site plan can even be submitted for approval.

There was consent among the board members that the project holds promise, however.

Malta's Deputy Supervisor and Planning Board Chairman Glenn Rockwood remarked that the project could be "a tremendous opportunity for green building," and "would be somewhat of a community asset when we overcome some of the technical constraints.""

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