By Richard Breyer


SHIRLEY — The Planning Board met with a representative of the Apple Orchard Estates housing development to discuss bond reductions for work completed in phases one, two and three of the construction.

Steven Goodman met with the board during its Nov. 20 meeting as a representative of MUUS Note Acquisition LLC, which is the new owner of the Apple Orchard Estates housing development on Windsor Road. The primary reason for the meeting was to review a bond reduction request from MUUS for work completed on the site.

DPW Director Joseph Lynch attended the meeting, to review the bond reduction with the board.

The bond is money held by the town as a means of ensuring that work will be completed on the site. Should the development fail, the town could use the bond funds to complete any paving left undone by the developer and complete related infrastructure work.

As MUUS completes work on the site, the board can reduce the bond by releasing funds back to the developer, who in turn uses the money to fund the site’s construction and pay related fees such as the town’s supervision through the clerk of the works.

Lynch outlined the state of completed work on the site and recommended bond releases in the amounts of $4,440 for phase one, $107,577 for phase two and $10,173 for phase three, respectively. Much of the work done was loam and seeding, and Lynch explained that he gave only partial credit for the seeding because anything planted after Nov. 15 might require reseeding.

“If you don’t get 90 percent coverage, you have to reapply everything,” said Lynch, referring to the success rate of the seeding.

Other items Lynch outlined included the state of electrical utilities and detention basins, paving and manhole covers. Certain items were not complete simply because of the timing, such as manhole covers that could not be properly installed until the paving is complete, and detention basins that the Department of Environmental Protection had instructed the developer not to clean out yet.

The board also had concerns about having money added to the revolving account funds for legal expenses and the clerk of the works relating to the Apple Orchard Estates. The clerk oversees the construction on behalf of Shirley at the expense of the developer.

Board member Charles Colburn told Goodman that next time MUUS asks for a bond reduction, the board might vote to put those funds directly into the revolving accounts, if they have not been filled by MUUS as required.

Goodman responded that that would be fine. “It might be just as easy to pay it that way.”

In other business, the board discussed the status of the Meadows development after having met with its representative, Conrad Donell, during a previous meeting. Lynch commented on an update from Lisa Eggleston, Shirley’s drainage consultant, and outlined some of the remaining concerns. One of the main issues was a berm that needed testing to make sure it kept water from leaking onto abutting property.

Colburn asked Lynch if the board should accept Donell’s design plans and move forward, and he wanted to make sure that the Conservation Commission’s concerns about the site were addressed. Lynch recommended that the site needed a permit modification to get the design into the records, and that the commission was waiting for the Planning Board to amend the permit first before proceeding with its own concerns about the site.

Remaining problems that the board had with the Meadows development were the lack of a fence near a steep slope and the need to lower detention basins to prevent flooding. Lynch had observed that only two of the detention basins on the site had been lowered. “He needs to lower all the basins.”

Lynch told the board that he would send Donell a letter to point out the liability and safety concerns if a fence was not installed. Lynch also pointed out to the board that the actual length of the area that needed fencing was quite short and would not be a large expense, in and of itself.