Extension granted for Rossi Estates subdivision

Rossi Estates is a long-planned 11-unit subdivision off Mt. Vickery Road, but while a special permit for major residential development was approved back in 2006, don’t expect them to break ground any time soon.

The Planning Board on Monday night granted another one-year extension to the project’s developer Bartolini Builders. It’s the third such extension in as many years.

The Planning Board agreed there was “compelling reason” to extend the subdivision permit because the economy would make securing financing for the project difficult or impossible. Bartolini Builders have already spent about $100,000 making improvements to the land in preparation for the project.

An attorney for the Gulbankian family whose property lies near the proposed developed questioned whether hard times justify an extension. “This project has been on life support for quite a few years,” he said. “There hasn’t been any progress on moving forward.”

Planning for the project got underway in 1994 and has gone through several rounds of approval. The current subdivision plan was approved in 2006. Extensions were granted in 2007 and 2008.

“You’ve granted extension upon extension,” said the Gulbankian attorney. “Last time you said there wouldn’t be any more extensions.”

Peter Bemis, an engineer working on the project, said they hope to have a definitive subdivision plan before the Planning Board within a year. One of the lots will be a duplex that meets the town’s affordable housing requirements for a major residential development.

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