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Agreements between Town Hall and neighboring development share parking, access and stormwater management

Proposed buildout for Ocean House Common includes nearly 3/4-acre for a village green. Click for larger image (7MB)

The Town Hall will be sharing some of its parking area with Ocean House Common, the mixed-use office, residential and village-green development under construction next door at 326 Ocean House Road.

The agreement was one of three approved by the Town Council on Dec. 9, 2019 to share infrastructure and resources with Ocean House Common:

  • A parking license to share up to 10 under-utilized parking spaces at the rear of the Town Hall with the new development
  • A cross-access easement, allowing pedestrian and vehicular traffic to and from Town Hall on the development's private road
  • A drainage easement, allowing runoff from the Town Hall to flow to infiltration basins on the Ocean House Common property.

Councilors voted 4-3 to approve the agreements. Dissenting councilors Chris Straw, Valerie Deveraux, and Chair Valerie Adams said they were uncomfortable granting approval without seeing the documents, which were reviewed by the town's attorney but not included in the meeting packet. The majority of councilors however said they understood the intent and supported the motion to authorize Town Manager Matthew Sturgis to enter into the agreements. Sturgis apologized for the oversight and provided the documents the next day.

The Planning Board on May 21 approved the first phase of Ocean House Common, a four-lot, mixed used development and village green consistent with the concept plan included in the 2014 Town Center Plan.

The approved Phase I includes a 7,144-square-foot dental office building with two second-story apartments, a driveway access from Ocean House Road that turns north to the Town Hall parking lot, and a 20,000 square foot village green fronting Ocean House Road.

John Mitchell, landscape architect representing developer Dr. David Jacobson, said that since that Phase I approval, "there has been an increased interest in the development in terms of the other lots." Jacobson is now looking to subdivide the 4.1 acre parcel into four lots, and to complete all required infrastructure in one phase – parking, sidewalks, drainage, and a paved "Town Common Circle" access road. He is also looking to add more than 17,000 square feet to the village green space, bringing the total land donation to more than three-quarters of an acre.

The dental office would be enlarged to accommodate three second-floor apartments and would occupy one of those lots.

Future development of the other lots will need separate Planning Board approvals. Parking will also need to be revisited as each lot seeks approval for specific uses.

A public hearing on the subdivision review and site-plan amendments is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17, at Town Hall.