GROTON — Headlining Thursday night’s meeting of the Planning Board were a pair of issues related to plans by the Groton Electric Light Department to construct a new headquarters building on its property off Station Avenue.
One item dealt with the donation of GELD land off Lowell Road to the Conservation Commission and a second with the consolidation of lots at the department’s Station Avenue property from four to two.
Of the two items, the one dealing with Lowell Road related to the department’s plan to build a new office/garage complex off Station Avenue, a plan approved by the Conservation Commission, 5-2, Tuesday.
That decision will allow GELD to proceed with its plan to construct its facility even though it intrudes into a 50-foot buffer zone surrounding the James Brook watershed.
In its first application to the commission, GELD had made attempts at reconfiguring its proposed complex so as to make as little intrusion within the 50-foot zone as possible. The commission denied the application.
Constrained by a memorandum of understanding with selectmen that required GELD to leave part of its Station Avenue land aside for possible use by the town, manager Kevin Kelly said the situation left his department with little room to satisfy the commission’s demand to stay out of the buffer zone.
GELD offered the commission a remediation plan that would remove invasive plant species from the James Brook wetlands as well as donating land it owned off Lowell Road to the town as conservation land.
The board approve GELD’s plans for its Station Avenue property.
GELD attorney Robert Collins told board members Thursday night that a 2-acre area contiguous with existing conservation land would be sheared off the department’s Lowell Road property and given to the town.
Regarding the second issue, Collins said that GELD land along Station Avenue currently subdivided into four lots would be combined into two, totaling 3.3 acres.
Once the new office/garage complex was completed, an existing garage would be torn down and land at the end of Station Avenue next to the rail trail would be declared surplus and likely handed over to the town to use in the creation of a planned cul de sac.
Also Thursday night, board members considered three warrant articles dealing with a proposed Lost Lake sewer system due to be submitted to residents for approval at next month’s Town Meeting.
Of the three articles, the first would ask voters to approve the creation of a Lost Lake Sewer District, the second an appropriation of an estimated $12.9 million needed to pay for construction of the system, and the third approval of an intermunicipal agreement between Groton and Ayer for use of the latter’s wastewater services.
Board members approved all three.