RCL Rand (511 Wallis) Summary of October 8, 2013

The Rye Planning Board is reviewing an application from Changing Places, LLC (John O’Brien and John Ricci) to develop 19 homes in a Retirement Community Development (“RCD”), taking advantage of Rye’s over 62 year old zoning for the parcel, the former site of the Rand Lumber Co.  The developers purchased the 90 acre parcel in the Spring of 2013 for $1.125 million.  They are attempting to change the property lines within their parcels, in order to devote one parcel to the RCD, and the other to conservation, or, barring that, to a single family residence subdivision.

1) The RCD would include a development and private road off of Wallis Road consisting of 19 homes on 15 acres.  The lots and houses would be relatively small retirement homes of approximately 1800 square feet.  A condominium association would be responsible for the maintenance of these homes.  The homes would be offered with an option for geothermal heating and cooling.

a) The developer needs to change the lot lines within their parcel to accommodate the development.

b) The developer was considering connecting the private road to Patriots Way (off of Liberty Common), as requested by Rye public officials in order to facilitate emergency vehicle traffic.  However, following substantial “push back” from residents, it appears that either a “hammerhead” or a cul-de-sac within the confines of their property will be constructed.

c) The developer is generating drainage and traffic studies.  Drainage is a particularly delicate subject, as many abutters to the parcel currently experience flooding during certain seasonal conditions.

d) There is a site walk on October 26th at 10 a.m. in which the public is invited to attend with the developer and Planning Board.

2) Sequentially, the developers are addressing the sale of about 75 acres which would remain behind, and adjacent to, the RCD on the parcel.  The land is partially wetlands and partially developable.  The Planning Board will look at any application relating to this parcel at a later time.

a) The developers have publicly stated that they are interested in selling the land and placing it in conservation.  To this end, they have discussed that possibility with the Rye Conservation Commission and the Southeast Land Trust.  Both entities are interested, but neither appears to have sufficient available funding.  The developers have publicly stated that they will wait 3 to 5 years to find a buyer before seeking to subdivide the land for single family houses.

b) The developers have stated that they are prepared to put in 14 to 16 single family houses on the back parcel if a sale does not occur.  A road connector would need to be made to Liberty Common or Alehson Road in Rye, or Eastwood Drive in Portsmouth.  This issue will come up through a later application.

Streaming of the meetings may not occur on the Town web site, as they are being held at the Junior High to accommodate the significant public  attendance.