The Falmouth Board of Selectmen has voted unanimously to send a project eligibility letter to MassHousing stating that the proposed Rosewood Estates 40B project on Percival Road does not align with the town’s Housing Production Plan.
The Rosewood Estates project proposes 16 three-bedroom, single-family homes on 5.5 acres of land. Four of the houses would be affordable.
“As we’ve discussed on a number of occasions, this does not align with the town’s affordable housing priorities, or housing priorities in general, with all of the units being three bedroom when we have a real need for smaller units to accommodate many of our smaller households here in Falmouth,” Assistant Town Manager Peter Johnson-Staub said at the Monday, March 23, board of selectmen meeting.
Mr. Johnson-Staub noted this project, submitted by Edwin Monteiro on behalf of Eco Land Development, is not a town-sponsored project and can proceed with or without the board of selectmen’s support.
The town’s project eligibility letter requests two changes from the developer. The first addresses the need for smaller units, and asks the applicant include at least four one- or two-bedroom units. The second relates to access.
Currently, Percival Road can be accessed via Trotting Park Road. The 2,600-feet-long road ends behind the Cape Verdean Club and could prove challenging for emergency vehicles to access, Town Planner Thomas Bott said.
If this project were a subdivision rather than a 40B, Mr. Bott said, the town would require emergency access to the site via Harness Drive. Currently, Harness Drive is a private road that dead-ends behind two of the proposed units.
“It wouldn’t cost any lots, it wouldn’t cost any units, it’s essentially shifting those lots over to fit a 44-foot right-of-way,” Mr. Bott said.
Selectman Douglas H. Jones asked if the proposed development would be served by a sewer line or a septic tank system. It would use septic systems, Mr. Bott said.
Mr. Johnson-Staub noted the development is within the water protection resource district. While residential development is not prohibited in this zone, the property is located approximately 2,600 feet from the Long Pond water supply at its closest point.
The letter also notes the importance of barrier-free and disabled-accessible units, which were identified as a need in the housing production plan. The letter requests all 16 units be visitable and at least one unit be constructed as an accessible housing unit.