PEPPERELL -- The Planning Board approved a special permit this week for a common drive off River Road. The Lorden and Stanton Realty project will eventually have four single-family homes situated along the 668-foot drive.

Jack Visniewski, of Cornerstone Land Consulting, explained to the board that the drive was moved further away from a large wetland buffer zone at the request of the Conservation Commission. Access to the first lot was also moved off River Road and onto the common drive at the request of the Highway Department.

The board agreed with the applicant to allow a phased approach to completing the common drive enabling construction of the first home before completion of the common drive. Typically a common drive needs to be completed before the homes are built. Moving the driveway of the first home off River Road and onto the common drive necessitated the accommodation.

In a related action, the board endorsed an ANR plan for Lots 4A, 5, 6, and 7 off River Road.

The board expects to present a series of zoning amendments before the town at the Town Meeting this spring. Changes are expected for lot shape factor, the neighborhood business district, and definitions for domestic animals and other content.

-- Paul MacDonald