The brothers expect to file a planned unit development application with the city by the end of this week for a second housing project, this project to convert Spaulding Ranch on Route 100 north of Faston Center Street into four housing units.
In a May 10 review by the Waitsfield Development Review Board (DRB), the board heard a proposal from Sheas to add four apartments to the old Methodist church in Waitsfield Village. Additionally, Sheas wants to add two dormer windows and add one bedroom to two existing one-bedroom apartments.
The Sheas purchased the property earlier this year and in March came before the select committee sought a 7-foot sewage easement to modernize the sewage system at the property at 4276 Main Street.
At this week’s meeting of the Development Review Board (DRB), the board reviewed the identified project for a building currently intended for mixed residential and commercial uses. The former church was built in 1894 on an area of 0.63 acres. The 4,860-square-foot building consists of three one-bedroom apartments, one two-bedroom apartment, and a vacant commercial space.
As proposed, the project will result in eight residential units: three two-bedroom apartments and five one-bedroom apartments. The addition of two dormer windows on the north and south sides of the building will facilitate the exit required by the state fire official.
The property is located in the residential zoning area of a city village where the development needs to conform to the style of the historic village settlement with denser development, well-defined street views, pedestrian range, etc.
The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is referred to as the Old Methodist Church and was built around 1894. The Division of Towns requires that when the DRR Office reviews Conditional Use Review applications that include exterior modifications to buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, “the applicant and the Development Review Board must refer to the Secretary of the Interior’s standards to rehabilitate historic buildings for guidance on the suitability of the proposed alterations.”
When the church was developed as a residence in May 1977, the applicant was required to provide parking for at least 15 cars. That parking still. Under the current zoning, 12 parking spaces will be required for the eight apartments and with Sheas retaining the retail option, they will require one parking space for every 300 square feet of retail space.
DRB asked Sheas for data on specific parking spaces and also asked for more details on how the building would be repainted, details about doors and windows and details on how the two new roof sections matched the existing building.
The upgraded sewage system is currently under government review and the Sheas plan will use the city’s municipal water system.
Shea Property Services is based in Montpellier. Aaron Shea said he and his brother saw great potential in the Old Methodist Church and really loved the Whitesfield area and wanted to develop more housing in the area.
He said they closed the 60-acre Spaulding ranch on May 4. And after this renovation project they will have a look at 60 acres. , He said.