Resident Courtney Derderian presented to the Planning Board on Sept. 14 a design for two four-lot developments off Cedar Street, near the Southborough town line.
Derderian explained that she and her husband, Kyle, moved into a house at the end of Lincoln Street — a dead-end street across from Carbone’s restaurant — four years ago. There are about 20 acres of undeveloped land next to her property, and she learned of previous plans to develop the property and put in a road connecting Lincoln Street to Cedar Street Extension.
“We felt uncomfortable with the idea that a developer could come in and complete that project,” she said. “We do not feel that the road can support a throughway. In our opinion it would be unsafe for our family and for our neighborhood.
“So we did some research and we chose to purchase the land ourselves in an attempt to keep the integrity of a dead-end environment and pretty much precluding any kind of throughway to go in there.”
The new plan is to extend Lincoln Street and build four homes there, and to create a new cul-de-sac off Cedar Street Extension, across from Wedgewood Drive, with another four lots.
Joe Marquedant, who heads up the design team, said the land was the subject of a special permit in 2003. While that has expired, the planners have been using some of the information in the new design.
“We feel that the design is a thoughtful one, is a good one,” Marquedant said. “We feel it’s in line with the standards outlined in the bylaw. Given the scope of it, the four homes in either way, I don’t see unreasonable traffic issues. We don’t create a lot of traffic. The two cul-de-sacs eliminate that cut-through scenario — folks trying to get to the [Southborough] train station, folks trying to get to Route 9. I don’t think we’ll have undue traffic here.”
Multiple Planning Board members expressed concern with cul-de-sacs and suggested it might be more appropriate to have the through road.
“Cul-de-sacs, we’ve tried to limit them in size because we try to discourage them a little bit,” Dave Paul said. “I think if we go with this strategy — this is my personal opinion — if we go with the strategy of connecting cul-de-sacs with an emergency access road we’re never going to have another through road in Hopkinton again. It’s just something that I think we should think about.”
Added principal planner John Gelcich: “The dual cul-de-sacs is not something that we look for in Hopkinton. It’s not necessarily good planning. I understand the reasons why, but we’re looking at a neighborhood-level design here and not necessarily just a one-road design. So that’s a concern.”
Concerns also were raised about the length of Lincoln Street, a narrow dead-end road that already has 12 houses on it and is about 1,700 feet long. The proposed plan would extend it another 400 feet.
Steven Popkes, who lives at 24 Cedar Street Extension, expressed a concern that a through road would get a lot of traffic, primarily from people looking to avoid the intersection where Cedar Street Extension meets Cedar Street.
The Planning Board scheduled a site visit for Oct. 3 and voted to continue the hearing to Oct. 19.
Also at the Sept. 14 meeting, the Planning Board continued to discuss the planned three-home development off Leonard Street. There were questions about the ability of fire trucks to access the dead-end road and turn around. The hearing was continued to Sept. 28.