Here is a link to a January 11 article in the Medfield Press covering the January Planning Board meeting. An earlier article is not available online anymore, so I took the liberty of placing it here in full length.

Neighbors oppose Morse Drive cut-through

By Brandon Todesca/ Correspondent
Thursday, November 2, 2006

Further development of the Woodcliff Estates was the topic of discussion at Monday night’s Planning Board meeting. Developers brought the final piece of the master plan to the table. The final piece of the Woodcliff Estates project would involve either an 812-foot long cul-de-sac or a road that cuts through to Morse Drive.

A crowd of approximately 25 people gathered to express their opposition to the cut-through to Morse Drive. “From past hearings we understand there’s an extreme opposition to a cut-through,” said Planning Board member Wright Dickinson.

“We’d prefer to make it a cul-de-sac,” said Scott Colwell, of Colwell Homes. However, a number of problems with that plan exist. Currently, the normal length of a cul-de-sac is limited at 500 feet, while this project aims to be 812 feet. In order to make a longer cul-de-sac, the developers must apply for waivers. If waivers are not granted, the developers are not interested in building a 500-foot project, since it would hold fewer than 10 houses, the planned amount for the project. In that case, they would change their plans to a cut-through with Morse Drive.

“I think the board would like to see something consistent with what we’ve been approving in the past,” said Dickinson. While the Board would like to do what is in the best interest of the citizens, Dickinson explained, “all we’re trying to do is abide by the subdivision bylaws that are not in front of us.” This does not mean that a waiver is out of the question, she said.

The Planning Board is waiting to hear the input of the fire and police departments on the matter of a cut-through versus a cul-de-sac. Representatives from neither department were present at the meeting.

Their absence annoyed a number of members of the public. Jack Sylvia, a neighbor to the project, said he was angered that, “they don’t even show up,”

Regardless, Dickinson noted, “I still have to consider their opinion.”

In the cul-de-sac proposition, there is a proposed break-through gate at the end of Erik Road. The path, which would be only used by emergency vehicles, would connect to a trail through the woods and finally to the project.

The footpath would be changed to encircle the entire development. The path through the woods would be partially relocated.

If the project were to result in a cul-de-sac, it would support the land for ten houses, plus areas for drainage. The water that would collect in the basin at the mouth of the cul-de-sac would then drain into an existing detention basin.

In order to support additional houses, the developers would be required to extend the size of the retention basin by an additional 60 feet. A question was raised over whether not this would be necessary.

Colwell and others pointed out that the basin is usually dry. Dickinson explained that the project is still in its information gathering stages, “We do have a lot of fact finding to do.” The largest question over whether or not the road will become a cut-through is the largest puzzle. Safety is a concern on two fronts. The first is that the road will draw a large amount of traffic and would be dangerous for the children living on the road as well as neighboring streets. The foil is whether emergency vehicles would be able to get to the development in a timely manner.”

The next meeting to discuss the future of the project will be held on Nov. 27. When asked if any other streets in the project were in planning, Colwell said, “this is it.”