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Salem planning Board OKs senior housing project plan

SALEM — After hashing out some minor engineering revisions, the Planning Board has approved a site plan for a proposed 46-unit senior housing project off Pond Street.

The Stone Bridge Estates Active Adult Community is in one of the town’s senior overlay districts, which means it would be allowed by zoning ordinance.

The total area of the property owned by Tim Oriole encompasses more than 25 acres. The area is rurally zoned, which would typically call for two-acre home lots.

However, under the guidelines of the senior overlay district, the town would permit siting two houses per acre.

Planning Board members were generally satisfied with the quality of the plan presented by project engineer Karl Dubay of the Dubay Group.

Planning Board member Linda Harvey did question Dubay about the phasing of the project, though, asking if the roads and utilities would be constructed before work began on the individual housing units, or if they would be done at the same time.

Dubay said it was the goal of the developers during the first phase to start building the foundations of the new homes in conjunction with the road and utility work.

“We’ll be doing the foundation right away to get an initial unit ready for show,” said Dubay.

The first phase of the project will include an estimated dozen homes and the community clubhouse on the beginning of a loop road off the main entrance. Dubay said that work will begin as soon as the landscaping and development of the front entrance is completed.

The project’s second phase will include the completion of the loop road and home construction along that road. It’s final phase is set to include a cul-de-sac and homes on that cul-de-sac, Dubay said.

Under the senior housing ordinance, developers are required to either set aside 10 percent of the units as affordable housing or pay money into a affordable housing trust fund.

Town Planning Director Ross Moldoff said the developers have chosen to pay into the affordable housing trust fund.

Dubay said he expects there to be a lot of interest from potential home buyers in the project.

“We’ve had a lot of calls and interest in this project,” he said.

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