Planning Board approves site plan amendment for Roots Academy

On Tuesday, January 17, 2023, the Planning Board voted 5-0 in favor of approving a site plan amendment and Resource Protection Permit as requested by Jaclyn Gallo of Roots Academy.  The approved site plan amendment allows for a change of use from office to institutional/school.  The site plan was first approved in 2005 for the Two Lights Professional Center.  The Resource Protection Permit will allow Gallo to alter 1,000 square feet of RP1-buffer to install a nature path for the school.  

Robert Metcalf of Mitchell & Associates presented the board with a review on behalf of the applicant.  Metcalf explained that the property had been used for professional offices on the first floor and four residential apartments on the second floor.  There are no plan changes and the second floor apartments will remain the same.  The only proposed improvements to the site would be to install a four-foot-high wooden fence enclosure with a pedestrian gate and a fenced enclosure and gate around the existing propane tanks.  

The Conservation Committee reviewed the application on January 10 and voted 4-0 in favor of recommending the issuance of a Resource Protection permit with the caveat that there be a plan for invasive plant material removal.  Town Engineer, Stephen Harding also reviewed the application and wrote in his report, "The proposed plan changes are minimal and so many of the submission package items are not applicable or have been addressed in the original submission [of 2005]."

Gallo includes in the application, that the private academy was founded as result of the pandemic. The academy acquired  Ledgemere Country Day School campus in the summer of 2021.  "Now in year three," Gallo writes, "we find ourselves with a growing community presence and student base. Our current student body consists of 14 families, with students ranging in age from Kindergarten to 3rd grade."  "The proposed change of use at 2 Davis Point Lane will allow us to grow our small business, continue to support the families in our school community, and give back to the town that we gratefully call home," Gallo writes.

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