FARMINGTON — A new project with a new application for a six-unit condominium for ages 55-plus near the downtown was brought before the town’s Planning Board Monday.

After finding the application complete, the board fielded questions raised by attorneys, engineers and abutters and chose to walk over the site at 4 p.m. on Aug. 1. The site review will be followed by a public hearing at 5 p.m. at the Municipal Building.

Plans for a five-unit project, Riverview Condos, at 223 Main St., were withdrawn in May by applicants William and Karen Marceau in order to add a unit and create a new applicant, Farmington Riverview LLC, Marceau’s attorney Brian Rayback of Pierce Atwood told the board.

Structurally the plans are similar but it now includes four two-bedroom units and two one-bedroom units. An existing building on the front of the lot housing 10 apartment units, a hair salon and Marceau’s Foothills Management and Development will also be included under the condominium umbrella of Farmington Riverview LLC.

An extra parking space for the sixth unit is planned. A catch basin on Front Street instead of rip rap on the banking and a set of steps to Front Street for emergency use are included. At the request of the Fire Department, a graveled area for firetruck outriggers will be created on Front Street beyond proposed town sidewalks.

The application fulfills the town ordinances except for the 75 feet of frontage needed for the development. The property only has 61 feet of frontage on Main Street but it’s grandfathered in, existing before the ordinances, engineer William Lane of Gartley and Dorsky Engineering and Surveying told the board.

Lane also believed access to the condos through a narrow driveway — 8.5 feet at its narrowest — is also grandfathered.

Calling the existing stately Main Street homes a “view scape of town,” abutting neighbor Christie James told the board she had many concerns about the proposed project.

“This changes the whole character,” she said of the historical residences.

Along with preserving the historical district, James expressed concerns about access for emergency vehicles along the narrow driveway, the ability for firetrucks to turn around and the potential for others to use the stairway from Front to Main street.

Representing James’ interests, attorney David Sanders questioned the board on whether the development is a subdivision on an undersized lot. It’s a substantial building built on a half-acre lot already housing a substantial building, he said.

“Who would want it in their backyard? Would anybody?” he asked.

Town attorney Frank Underkuffler has identified legal questions that need to be answered in order for him to provide the best advice for the board. The board will need to determine how the town’s ordinances are interpreted, he said.

The board agreed to walk over the property and hold the public hearing on Aug. 1, but while a decision could be made that day, some expected it could extend to the board’s meeting on Aug. 8.

[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.