Controversial development back before Planning Board

By Matthew Bernat | Feb 13, 2017
Photo by: Cyndi Murray Developers of a proposed housing project at the Bay Pointe Club are scheduled to appear before the Planning Board on Feb. 27.

After a year of debate and closed door meetings, the hotly contested Bay Pointe housing project will return for round two with the Planning Board on Feb. 27.

On Monday, the board opened then immediately continued a public hearing to hear a site plan review from Bay Pointe developer, Rhode-Island based Stonestreet Corp. Board Chair George Barrett explained that the developer requested the hearing be continued earlier that day.

It marked the first time in more than a year that the board discussed the project in public due to legal issues. Plans call for constructing a subdivision of 84 units centered around the Bay Pointe Club’s golf course, located at 19 Bay Pointe Drive.

In January 2016, the Planning Board approved the site plan. Although it imposed conditions relating to water treatment and lot sizes that prompted objection from Stonestreet.

The developer then filed a lawsuit against the board in Land Court. Since then, the two parties have met in a series of executive sessions to mediate the issue.

Now, it appears that an agreement has been reached allowing Stonestreet to return before the board in what may be another lengthy review process.

“There’s a brand new public hearing, a brand new application, and we don’t know what they’re going to request this time,” said board member Michael Fitzgerald.

Stonestreet bought Bay Pointe in 2012 for $1.4 million, made improvements to the existing facilities and has been operating the golf course since the purchase. In 2014, Stonestreet filed plans to construct a housing development centered around the golf course.

The plans ran into a barrage of questions from the Planning Board about lot sizes, setbacks from the road and how sewage would be handled before being fed into the town's system.

When it became clear that none of those issues was going to be resolved quickly, the developer granted the Planning Board a waiver from a deadline for ruling, up or down, on the proposal. As hearings and discussions continued into the fall, however, Stonestreet rescinded the waiver, due to the lengthiness of the process.

On Monday, board members noted that another lengthy debate may be ahead. Members discussed clearing its agenda on Feb. 27 to focus on Bay Pointe.

“I think Bay Pointe is going to take a long time,” said member Robert Reed.

He added that the town’s engineer submitted an eight-page letter with comments and questions on the project ahead of the hearing, which is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Multi-Service Center, located at 48 Marion Road.

Comments (14)
Posted by: Newlyaresident | Feb 14, 2017 07:57

Hopefully the planning board will stop tripping over themselves and approve this plan so it can finally move ahead.



Posted by: Snowman | Feb 14, 2017 10:06

Mr, Reed should be excused from this discussion.  No one makes a declarative statement such as “I think Bay Pointe is going to take a long time,” prior to a negotiation unless they are either incompetent or have their mind made up.  Which is it?  What is Reed's WIFM?

Wareham is fortunate that Stonestreet has not cut their losses and bailed out. 



Posted by: Snowman | Feb 14, 2017 10:06

WIFM  = What's in it for me



Posted by: reason | Feb 14, 2017 12:40

I take exception to Mr. Reed's comment that "I think Bay Pointe is going to take a long time".  Bay Pointe HAS taken a long time.  It's time to get this development approved.  What is the real role of the Planning Board?? Is it to stop development or promote responsible development?  I have attended all the previous hearings/meetings on this matter.  It is an embarrassment they way this Board has handled this development.  Look around your town --this development will bring in sorely needed tax revenue, while not likely burdening services like the schools.  These homes will be marketed to "empty nesters" who have disposable income that will be spent in town.  They will buy furnishings at the new Cardi's, they will frequent the restaurants and other shops in town. This will encourage new businesses to locate here and bring jobs to residents.   Responsible town officials should protect residents from unfair/inappropriate development.  This is not the case with this project.  The developers have already made many concessions to their plans.  Let's get this done!!! If the Planning Board wants to be obstructionist, they should be gone.



Posted by: Society for Suppression of Noise | Feb 14, 2017 13:00

The members of the planning board shall be appointed by an appointing authority consisting of the town moderator, who shall serve as chairman, the chairman of the board of selectmen and the chairman of the planning board.

http://www.wareham.ma.us/planning-board

A fish rots from the head down
Meaning:
When an organization or state fails, it is the leadership that is the root cause.

http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/fish-rot-from-the-head-down.html

Circular firing squad
noun
US
Used in reference to a situation in which a group of people are engaged in self-destructive internal conflicts

https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/circular_firing_squad



Posted by: Uptohere | Feb 14, 2017 13:09

It seems there is a new plan and with that, I would imagine, are new issues to consider. Like why? And what has changed? I would rather know up front that everything has been dealt with prior to the first shovel being moved. Now if there is any real proof that the board is just stalling that's one thing. I haven't seen any. All I see is people that want it done with, but at what cost to us down the line. And seeing someone post...your town, not our town.... Raises my concern as far as outside pressure and malipultion. Unless you have knowledge of Cardis leaving anytime soon I believe the furiture is a moot point at this time.



Posted by: greycat | Feb 14, 2017 14:55

My sentiments exactly!



Posted by: Snowman | Feb 14, 2017 15:18

Two points:

One: The last time this was held up it was about the size of side lots.  Really?  Side lots?  This is not a condo for people with kids so who cares about side lots.  It is as if there is an agenda here to not get this approved. 

Two:  My agenda.  I am in my 50's, Live in town, No Kids, Own a house and would like to see these built for either improvement to our tax base and the influx of people who will spend $$ locally.  And, I would like to consider buying a unit myself.



Posted by: NavyMan | Feb 14, 2017 18:54

Here is the chance to get this right. I think most of us agree this project should get approved. It would put more residents in the are which support further business growth. The problem I see is the trust in Stonestreet living to their word. I see that they proposed 3 phases with the last being the golf course renovation. Whats to stop them for leaving after phase 2, making their money. Leaving the golf course a albatross to the town or whoever follows. Why not keep some type of hold backs or make the golf course phase 2. This would ensure it has been renovated....



Posted by: Society for Suppression of Noise | Feb 14, 2017 20:15

Valid point, Navyman.  Some research on Stonestreet's history is in order.  Thing is, this is not on the list of the Planning Board's roadblocks and booby traps.



Posted by: Snowman | Feb 15, 2017 05:19

Navy.  I have played this course recently and I have attended a wedding in the newly renovated Clubhouse. Property is in better shape than it has been in many years. This property was an albatross for years for the town. Since Stonestreet bought this property they have continuously improved it.

 

As for the condition off the golf course, stop in on a Sunday afternoon to the players clubhouse,  order a beer and ask someone who is a long time member there what they think of the condition of course. My guess is you will hear this the best it has been in 40 years.



Posted by: reason | Feb 15, 2017 08:05

Stonestreet is the owner of the golf course.  Why would they let it deteriorate? The function facility and new or renovated clubhouse will generate more revenue for Stonestreet.  That argument seems specious, just like some of the objections given by the Planning Board in the past.



Posted by: Andrea Smith | Feb 26, 2017 12:05

There are several consecutive Century 21 "For Sale" signs along Onset Ave at what appears the edge of Bay Pointe's property. Does Bay Pointe own this land? Is it land upon which they had hoped to construct some of the units of housing?



Posted by: Chaka | Feb 27, 2017 18:14

I don't understand why this project is controversial. These appear to be condos for upmarket older people who won't clog the schools and will spend lots of money at local businesses. What exactly is the controversy?



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