The 20-day time period to bring the Town Council’s decision on the Dunstan Village Residential District to a referendum vote expired Wednesday night with no petition submitted.

The Town Council approved the newly created district June 15. The new district changes the zoning for 142 acres owned by John and Elliott Chamberlain in Dunstan from an RF to an R2 zone, allowing the construction of 240 units.

In addition, the zone contains two 10-percent bonus provisions for land preservation and affordable housing that would allow for an additional 48 units, bringing the total units allowed under the ordinance to 288 units.

The zone change is the town’s response to a suit filed by the Chamberlains, who argued, amongst other points, that the town’s zoning is inconsistent with its comprehensive plan. In February, a judge sided with the developers, and shortly thereafter, the town created the new district.

Elliott Chamberlain still believes the land is better suited for an R3 or an R4 zone, but wants the project to begin moving ahead.

“I don’t think it met the real intent of the original comprehensive plan,” he said. “But, at some point, you have to move on.”

In fact, the Chamberlains have submitted plans to the Planning Department for the 288-unit project. He hopes the issue will appear on the Planning Board’s July 18 agenda for sketch plan review. The plans are, essentially, the same ones the developers submitted to the town previously, with minor changes and fewer units.

“I always felt we had a good project,” Chamberlain said, adding the plan has more open space than is required and still contains a community center, a park and walking trails.

The proposal contains a wide array of building types ranging from single family homes to apartments and condominiums. There are townhouses and row houses as well as some four-unit buildings.

“We kind of hit the whole gamut. We have small lots, large lots,” he said.

The smallest lot on the property is 5,600 square feet, and only one lot is less than 6,000 square feet, Chamberlain said. Some lots are as large as 20,000 square feet, which is the minimum lot size for an R2 zone.

Given the Planning Board’s positive reaction to the plan the first time around, Chamberlain hopes the same thing will occur during this review, but said he is open to other ideas.

Chamberlain said he is not sure about the future of the lawsuit against the town. He said he is still considering dropping the entire suit, or amending it, but one of the major concerns he still has is the legal fees.


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