POLAND — Selectpersons need more information before deciding if Jessica Way should become a public road.

Developer Brian Merrill, who several years ago built 13 houses on Jessica Way, told selectmen Tuesday night that the Planning Board issued three variances in 2012 that exempted the road from two sections of the town’s Comprehensive Land Use Code.

Merrill, who said he spent $100,000 on engineers and consultants to get the cluster development approved by the Planning Board, said he was told the 800-foot road, which is off Route 11, could then qualify to become a public way.

The variances, however, did not appear on the final plans for the development.

Over the years, the town’s code enforcement officers, including Scott Neal, who fills the role now, have written letters stating the road cannot be accepted or maintained by the town unless it “has been brought up to, or otherwise meets the current Street Construction Standards.”

Merrill said he does not have a copy of the variances or the minutes from that Planning Board meeting.

Walter Gallagher, chairman of the Board of Selectpersons, said the town should research the matter to determine if Jessica Way qualifies to be a public road.

“We’re debating something none of us I don’t believe are experts at,” Gallagher said.

Merrill said: “I’m willing to do what I can to help the people that are there now. It’s my responsibility to try for them as hard as I can. I want them to see that I am trying.”

According to one Jessica Way resident, property owners pay $40,000 in property taxes, plus $4,000 a year to plow the street.

Selectmen voted to delay action while the issue is researched.

filed under: