The Sherborn Planning Board met with Frank Hess and Jon Dowse of the Pine Hill Access Road Committee to discuss a preliminary site plan before the public hearing on the issue.
Tom Urmston, chair of the planning board said the meeting was, “only for the site plan,” and that they were not looking to recommend anything at the Town Meeting.
There were four options in the plan.
The first the board described as the least favorable. It would change nothing to the existing parking lot except create a gravel road from the lot to Route 16.
At the very least it would create an emergency exit if the situation every called for it.
In the first option there would be no additional parking and no drainage for the new access road.
Jon Dowse, Pine Hill Access Road Committee member and Sheborn Fire Chief said as a public safety professional he, “does not support the gravel road.”
Dowse also said the town does not have the equipment to take care of a gravel road the way it should.
Hess showed that the Pine Hill School currently has 72 spots in the parking lot and fifteen would be lost in the second option which would only create a paved asphalt road with no additional parking.
The third option would have parking and a paved road.
The fourth option would be the full project with 18 new parking spaces in the lot, additional parking along the new road, a sidewalk, and lighting.
Gino Carlucci, Town Planner, said the whole project would include drainage and landscaping at the 240 feet of frontage on Route 16.
He said they would also plant white pines, white spruces, and hemlocks.
In regard to the lights Carlucci said he would like to install cut off lenses to make they only shine on the street and not on nearby properties.
Commenting on the four options, Hess said that the Advisory Committee could back all four options or none of them.
Hess also said that a resident at Town Meeting could ask for addendum to any of the four options.
Sue Tyler, of the Sherborn Traffic Safety Committee said her committee can’t have a formal opinion but, “the support is absolutely there.”
Peter Liffiton, who is a candidate for selectmen this year, said this is, “absolutely essential for the town.”
Liffiton added that Pine Hill is the largest building in the town and that the situation with one exit is an issue vetted by public safety officials all the way up to the state level and “has been found wanting.”
Dowse said that the fire station is equipped to handle an emergency situation where Pine Hill is used as a safety shelter.
Dowse said that there are 400 cots and blankets in fire station for such a situation.
Hess said that the project has already gone out to bid with 16 contractors having picked up plans already.
Urmston told Hess, the board would like to see an option with only a paved access road with parking and drainage.
Eric Johnson, Planning Board member, said that if they got an addendum to the bid out within 48 hours it wouldn’t disrupt the contractors’ planning.