Barretts Hill Development Plan Tout Energy-Efficient Condos

The Hudson Planning Board met on March 27 and initially expected to hear plans for an extension and subdivision at 36 Campbello Street. However, the property owners requested a deferral to April 24 for their conditional use permit. The related subdivision application was withdrawn.
“They’re completely redoing it I believe,” Planning Board Chair, Tim Malley, explained.
The deferral was granted, and no action was needed from the Board for the subdivision withdrawal.
Project Engineer, Pete Madsen, from Keach-Nordstrom Associates was at the meeting with John Ratigan to introduce a development plan at 75 Barretts Hill Road.
“The project that we are proposing includes a residential open space development consisting of one non-buildable open space lot which is approximately 17 acres, and 13 residential lots which are proposed to be developed with duplex condos, also known as a condex,” said Madsen. “This project is interesting in that the condex units are designed to achieve net-zero emissions by using what is called a ‘passive house’ approach.”
He explained a passive house as minimizing heat loss and maximizing heat gain to reduce energy demand. The units would have more insulations, triple-paned windows, and solar panels, calling it a “unique project.” The plan will include sidewalks, a recent goal of the Planning Board.
“Has the applicant had any discussion with DPW [Department of Public Works] concerning sidewalks at the Barrets Hill subdivision and whether they can realistically maintain them with current budget, manpower, and equipment?” asked Board member, James Crowley.
According to Madsen, he already talked with DPW, and the issue of sidewalks had not been raised. Crowley also proposed having the applicant include all easement information on the requested subdivision permit. This proposal was approved by the Planning Board, as was a second request for a traffic plan.
Board member, Victor Oates, wanted to see sprinkler systems included in the condos. The current plan uses a water cistern. Madson stated he would be willing to add sprinklers, but only with the recommendation of the Hudson Fire Department. So far, the Fire Department has only requested a cistern with an alternate option for a sprinkler system instead of the cistern.
“To buy a single-family house, a mistake you impact yourself. To buy a duplex without a sprinkler system installed on both sides, a mistake on one side impacts the other,” said Oates. “A cistern in my professional opinion, puts the fire out but does not prevent families from losing their entire house.
There were several questions from abutting residents during public input.
“There’s a spillway that looks like it’s aimed directly at my well, I’d like to know if there’s anything to think about to protect my property if there’s an overflow,” said abutter, William Shea, of 65 Barretts Hill Road.
David Silva of 70 Barretts Hill Road was concerned with traffic flow.
“When I pull out of my driveway, it’s already hit or miss whether someone is going to be coming around that corner at 45 miles per hour. Increasing the amount of traffic coming through just broadens the risk,” said Silva. “I don’t think the town of Hudson has done a real good job of trying to figure out that road.”
Madsen did not have much to say about the traffic beyond saying the proposed roadway to connect the condos met town requirements regarding site distance.
“Everything that’s now flowing onto Barrets Hill will flow to this roadway and be collected in a series of closed drainage networks and flow to the drainage pond,” said Madsen, reassuring abutters there would be no flooding of their properties. “We have an emergency spillway, it’s pretty standard practice. If this were to overflow, any runoff would flow down to a catch basin.”
No vote was taken on the subdivision plan as Board members wanted to take a site walk and to hear back from DPW before taking further action.
The Hudson Planning Board is scheduled to meet again on Wednesday, April 10, at 7 p.m. in the Buxton Room of Town Hall.

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