Former orchard will become four-lot subdivision

The former Novelli orchards at 364 Orange Avenue will become a four-lot residential subdivision following unanimous Planning and Zoning Board (P&Z) approval at its Nov. 5 meeting. The proposal drew no public comment.

Attorney Thomas Lynch, representing the applicant, 364 Orange Ave. LLC, told the board that current property owner Gary Novelli has made a contractual agreement with the developer to sell the property.

“He [Novelli] has come to a point in his life where he is ready to move on,” said Lynch, noting that the family has farmed the property for 70 years.

Lynch said the 4.32-acre property straddles two different residential zones. The rear of the property is zoned RA, calling for acre-sized lots or larger, and the front of the property is zoned R-30, requiring lots of 30,000 square feet or larger, which is 0.69-acres.

Ronald Wassmer, project engineer, said Lot 1 is 32,100 square feet. Lot 2 is 30,615 square feet. Lot 3 is 1.2 acres and Lot 4 is 1.5 acres.

The board agreed to Lynch's request for a shared driveway for Lot 2, which fronts Orange Avenue, extending back to Lots 3 and 4, which are the acre-plus sized rear lots. Lynch said the shared driveway would be noted on the land records with legal requirements to share responsibility and costs for maintenance and plowing.

Lynch said the applicant believed that a shared driveway with one exit onto Orange Avenue was better than having three individual driveways coming out to the road near a stop sign. The shared driveway also reduces the amount of pavement on the property. Novelli's existing house, on what is now Lot 1, would retain its existing driveway.

According to Lynch, the applicant plans to construct a house on Orange Avenue immediately. Afterwards, it would market the rear lots for purchase by people looking to build their own house.

Wassmer said the property is mostly a field with some apple trees remaining from the time of the orchard. He said some apple trees would be preserved as a landscaping buffer.

The plan will include the planting of shade trees along Orange Avenue and on each lot, which Wassmer said, “exceeds landscaping requirements.

New sidewalks and curbs would be constructed on Orange Avenue. The driveway will have catch basins that will drain to an underground water detention system, said Wassmer. Electric utilities would be placed underground. The property will use sanitary sewers and municipal water.

Due to the distance from Orange Avenue and fire hydrants, the fire department is requiring the house on Lot 4 to have a sprinkler system, said Wassmer.