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Potential Developer of Bertozzi Subdivision Appeals Additional Cost of Road Bond

Bertozzi Farms subdivision is looking at its fourth potential buyer in just the last two years according to Quintin Tigs, the trustee for the property owner Jim Xarras. Tigs told Planning Board, "We want to sell the property. We believe that we have done everything required and the owner has no interest in building."

Attorney Robert Anctil, representing the latest potential buyer David Murray, owner of Ranger Development in Tyngsborough, advised that his client would like to purchase some of the property on a per lot basis in the eight-lot subdivision that is located on Townsend Rd., West Groton.

At issue is a document from Judith Nitsch Engineering, consultants for the Planning Board recommending that a $230K bond be in place to cover the cost of replacing the substrate and binder coat on the 500-foot subdivision roadway. Anctil pointed out that the Planning Board already holds $125K, adding that the owner of the property will finish the road but will not increase the bond.

According to Land Use Director Michelle Collette, the substrate under the roadway is the issue, adding, "That is why the cost estimate went up to $230K." She acknowledged that the $120K was held by the Planning Board in a passbook account and, she clarified, "The Board is on record with the

Building Inspector to issue no permits."

Murray pointed out that drainage infrastructure on the roadway is complete, that the road is in and granite is in. He added that cost to remove the binder and gravel and replace them was around $33K.

Planning Board Chairman John Giger commented, "This needs to be reconciled." Tigs replied that there would be another cost for a new report from Nitsch engineering. "We don't want them coming out day after day" he said. "Whatever needs to be done to bring this roadway to town acceptance has to be done," Giger replied. Tigs reiterated, "We have no other information than the issue of the manhole cover and the binder coat."

This subdivision was approved by Planning Board in 2002 but was not built and permits were not recorded. Back in 2006, the owner asked for permits to be extended when the binder coat was on the road and Planning Board extended the original permits.

Planner George Barringer stated that he wanted to see the property finished but would not support the request because he felt that the bond of $120K was not sufficient to cover needed work. Tigs pointed out that the town had already released another bond on the road.

Board member Russ Burke tried to find a compromise, asking, "Couldn't we work out a progression that might give the builder three or four lots to start?...Perhaps we could ask for a surety bond or a tripartite agreement where the seller could be the lender."

Anctil suggested that a building permit be issued for one lot and that proceeds could be used to take care of the binder coat. Anctil added, "I am very confident that we can work this out."

Groton Herald

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