December 11, 2018 Planning Board meeting

December 11, 2018 Planning Board meeting

Postby Mary Wright » Sat Jan 19, 2019 2:12 pm


A meeting of the Planning Board was held on Tuesday, December 11, 2018. Mr. Marks called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM and announced that the meeting is being recorded and will be available on cable and on the website.

PRESENT: Ernest Marks (Chairman), Ken Ballou, Michael Greco, Tracy Sharkey (Vice Chairperson-left 9:55 PM), Aaron Socrat, Les Stevens (left at 8:35 PM), Michael Zwicker
NON-VOTING: William Cundiff (Town Engineer)

Evan Turner of ASD Wallum Lake MA Solar and Jeff Brandt of TRC joined the meeting. Mr. Turner stated that they have been before the Conservation Commission and have completed the ANRAD process. He reviewed the changes to the plan, which include staying 100’ away from an intermittent stream discovered by Art Allen of EcoTec, which provides more forested buffer to the abutters at the north part of the project. The top retaining pond was removed. A 20’ landscape buffer has been added to the east. The inverter pad will now be in the north part of the site.
Mr. Turner reviewed their responses to the list of comments raised by the Board at the last meeting. There will be signs on the fence around the site telling people not to enter, there will be a sign with emergency contact information on the gate, Mr. Turner has contacted the Fire Dept. and they have no specific training requests and special training is not required. An Emergency Response Plan will be submitted as part of Site Plan Review before a Building Permit is issued.
TRC performed a noise study. The increase in noise at the nearest property line was just over 3 decibels. At the nearest house, the increase was under 3 decibels. The noise would come from the cooling fans, which would run intermittently. The higher pitched continuous hum from the inverters would be inaudible from 50’. The inverters do not run at night.
Chuck Davis of 3 Roslyn Road asked to know how close the nearest house is to the inverters. The answer was over 300’.
Every box on site has a fire suppression system.
A landscape plan was submitted for plantings for screening to include a mix of evergreens and an 8’ tall wooden picket fence. There will be a chain link fence around the entire array. The names and addresses of property owners have been added to the plan.
No material will be hauled off site. The site will be cleared, stumps ground, and the natural soil will be spread ahead of installing the piles.
The report from TRC on the magnetic field EMF showed no concerns from the array. Mr. Turner does not feel that glare will leave the site because it will be surrounded by trees that are taller than 5 stories.
It will take 18-24 months for the interconnection to be built, and 6-8 months to build the array. Mr. Turner reviewed the construction schedule. Trucks and cars will park inside the site. There will be no queuing on the street.
Mr. Turner does not feel that a single access road is unsafe. Mr. Cundiff has consulted with the Fire Chief and they feel it is important to have an alternate egress for emergency purposes. The Board was in agreement. Mr. Turner presented a plan with two 24’-wide driveways separated by 100’. There is adequate turning radii for emergency vehicles. Mr. Cundiff feels this plan is still only one access, and he recommended looking at a southerly egress location. To put a non-essential access road in another location, Mr. Turner would have to bring the plan before the Conservation Commission again, and he is not willing to do that. A discussion was held. It was the consensus of the Board that one driveway of at least 30’-wide was sufficient access.
The applicant is willing to provide a bond for road condition for Wallum Lake Road and a landscape stabilization bond. They will not use any chemical applications to promote lawn growth. The applicant will be submitting a formal forest cutting plan. Hours of operation will be 7:00 AM – 5:00 PM, Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.
No construction signage is proposed. Mr. Marks asked for signage at each end of of the property during construction noting a construction area. Mr. Cundiff asked to note that on the drawings. The entrance will be stabilized as a paved apron.
Mr. Cundiff asked for a written response to his comments letter. He did get a plan set and stormwater calculations, however he has not had a chance to look at them, and he would like an opportunity to do so. The plans still have “conceptual” and “draft” stamps throughout. Mr. Cundiff is concerned about erosion. Mr. Brandt is confident that the slope breakers and detention basin will handle the runoff.
Walter Cavanagh of 271 Wallum Lake Road favors the idea of a single access road. He asked that the applicant inform the drivers about courtesy and laws regarding horses on the roads. Mr. Turner will add that information to the construction brief, and he invited Mr. Cavanagh to present that information as well. Mr. Turner will work with the Highway Dept. regarding signage.
Mark Dautrich of 3 Angel Road asked if he would see the arrays from the lake. Mr. Turner replied that he would not. Mr. Dautrich asked how he and the townspeople would benefit from this project. Mr. Turner replied that this project is the same as any other private development-it is the landowner’s choice.
Chuck Davis of 3 Roslyn Road asked how close the property line is to abutting properties on Birch Hill. Mr. Turner replied that the closest driveway point is over 100’ away. Mr. Davis asked if the Board has visited the site. The Board replied that they have not.
Jean Forget of 36 Birch Hill Road asked how many acres the array consumes. Mr. Cundiff replied 24 acres. Ms. Forget asked how that compares to Bangma’s array. Mr. Cundiff replied that this one is five times as large. Ms. Forget is concerned that this array will be visible from the road and houses, especially in the winter, as many of the trees are deciduous. She is concerned about the noise from the pile drivers. Mr. Turner explained the various methods of pile installation. He does not know the exact method as he does not yet have a construction bid. Ms. Forget is concerned about construction traffic endangering the children at the bus stop. Mr. Turner is happy to add signs and have a traffic director. Ms. Forget asked for and received a description of an inverter. Mr. Socrat asked that wood screening be added to the chain link fence at the inverter. Mr. Turner agreed to do so on the outside of the road so as not to block access for fire equipment.
Ms. Forget stated that in the winter, there are three or four intermittent streams. She asked if that would change. Mr. Marks explained stormwater management.
Ms. Sharkey made a motion to continue the public hearing for ASD Wallum MA Solar, LLC (SPR-181002), Application for Site Plan Review, 0 Wallum Lake Road to January 8, 2019 at 7:00 PM. Mr. Zwicker seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-7.

Mr. Marks opened the public hearing. Robert and Adrianna Kordelac joined the meeting. They are planning to build a home with a basement accessory apartment at 56 West Street. The taxes on the property are paid.
Ms. Sharkey made a motion to close the public hearing for Reed Development Corp. (AA-181119), Application for an Accessary Apartment Special Permit, 56 West Street. Mr. Zwicker seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-7.
Ms. Sharkey made a motion to grant the Application for an Accessary Apartment Special Permit for Reed Development Corp. (AA-181119), 56 West Street with standard conditions. Mr. Zwicker seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-7.
Mr. Cundiff will draft the decision prior to the January meeting and ask the Board to come in and sign it.

8:18 PM ANR PLAN: DAVID & SUSAN L’HEUREUX (#2018-20) Southeast Main Street.
Margaret Bacon of Civil Site Engineering joined the meeting. Mr. Cundiff stated that at the last meeting, the plan showed excessive steep grades along the entire frontage and a proposed easement across the abutting lot. The issue was whether or not you could grant an easement to yourself. Since the last meeting, the applicant has clarified that there is an existing house and an existing driveway on one of the lots that goes to the newly created lot.
There is not yet an easement. Atty. Henry Lane joined the meeting and reiterated that since the two lots, 7a and 7b, are owned by the same person, one cannot grant themselves an easement. They can only create the easement when the lot is conveyed, and they cannot convey the lot until the plan is endorsed. The easement has been created and is shown on the plan. When 7a is sold, it will be conveyed with an easement as shown on the plan. A building permit cannot be issued without the easement due to a requirement for access. A discussion was held.
Mr. Zwicker made a motion to endorse the ANR Plan (#2018-20) for David and Susan L’Heureux, Southeast Main Street. Mr. Stevens seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-5, No-1, Mr. Socrat abstained.

Mr. Marks opened the public hearing. Mr. Stevens recused himself and left the meeting. Jeff Murphy of Beals and Thomas, Inc. and Julie Bozeman joined the meeting. The site will be accessed from West Street. The solar panels will cover approximately 23 acres, surrounded by 7’ high chain link security fence enclosing 31 acres. The area of disturbance is approximately 48 acres. Emergency contact information will be posted at the gate. There will be a permanent 15’-wide impacted gravel access drive from West Street ending in a cul-de-sac designed for WB-67 tractor trailer access. The Board would like the drive to be wider than 15’. Mr. Murphy suggested a 24’-wide gate.
The applicant is not planning to file a Notice of Intent with the Conservation Commission. Most of the site will be serviced by underground electrical conduit: the only overhead wiring will be near the wetland crossing.
The closest house to the panels is 600’ away. The plan needs to show the abutters’ names and property addresses. There will be 600’-900’ of wooded property surrounding the array. There are houses directly across the street from the entrance.
There will be two primary equipment pad areas. A battery storage equipment system is proposed as a raised structure on concrete footings. There will be a 100’ diameter turnaround at the equipment pad. They are proposing a 12’-wide stabilized grass drive around the bottom half of the array. Mr. Cundiff asked that more detail on that drive be provided. He would prefer a gravel drive.
Mr. Murphy described the drainage system, which includes swales with check dams every 50’. Mr. Murphy presented the stormwater report. The Site Owner’s Manual outlines the basin maintenance procedures, which are the responsibility of the site owner for the period of the lease. Trees between the limits of clearing and fence will be cut, but not stumped.
Three test pits were done at each of the stormwater basins. No credit was taken in the stormwater modeling for infiltration. Mr. Cundiff is concerned with the first several hundred feet of driveway, as there is no mitigation for stormwater BMPs. The flow from the site contributes to two stream watersheds.
Ms. Sharkey informed Mr. Murphy that the no-build requirement for wetlands is 50’, not the 15’ that is shown on his plan. She suggested he meet with the Conservation Agent before the Conservation Commission meeting.
Mr. Cundiff commented that Mobile Oil pipeline usually has special permitting requirements.
Ms. Bozeman stated that the batteries are all dry cell, each with fire suppression, and converters are fan cooled.
Mr. Cundiff asked for information about the number of employees, site activity, traffic generation, signage, EMR plans, etc. He will forward a list and his comments to Mr. Murphy. Mr. Cundiff is concerned about the proximity of the access road to the property boundary to the east, and he asked that that property line be demarcated. Mr. Murphy will remove references to “For Permitting Only” from the plans.
John from Maple Street asked if a turn apron is required at the entrance. Mr. Murphy provided those details.
Steve Bloem of 164 West Street asked about the plans to handle stormwater runoff to the spring that runs under his barn to the east of the proposed array. The plans do not show a spring in that area. Mr. Murphy will speak to their wetlands scientist. Mr. Bloem suggested a gate to stop traffic from entering the site. Mr. Bloem asked if the gravel driveway is going to be plowed in the winter. The road is 75’ from his home. Ms. Sharkey stated that there is a snow management provision in the Site Owner’s Manual. Mr. Bloem asked about the duration of the project. Mr. Murphy stated that it will be 4-6 months of construction. Ms. Bozeman stated that the duration depends on weather conditions. Mr. Bloem asked if a lot of dust would be created by the project. Mr. Murphy stated that they are required to file a Stormwater Pollution Protection Plan.
Mr. Bloem asked the Board to consider that his 40 acres in the middle of the project is “not just woods.” He plans to have the land developed in the future. Mr. Murphy replied that the limit of clearing along this property line is up to the property line and the fence surrounding the array is 15’ off the property line. Mr. Cundiff stated that solar panels fall under the Dover Amendment MGL ch 40A sec 3, and do not necessarily have to comply with all aspects of zoning, including building setbacks.
Mr. Zwicker asked for details on whether or not trees are going to be logged out, chipped, and if stumps are going to be removed. Large equipment will need larger than a 15’ access road.
Deborah Berthiaume of 163 West Street asked to know how far are they away from Mr. Bloem’s property line. Mr. Murphy replied that it is very tight. Ms. Berthiaume does not believe there is any room to make the road wider than 15’ with the wetlands on the other side of the road. Because the project is very steep, Ms. Berthiaume is concerned about stormwater runoff and drainage maintenance. Mr. Murphy reviewed the stormwater design.
Ms. Sharkey asked if it is possible to shift the whole project off the property line in question. Ms. Bozeman and Mr. Murphy explained that the array is situated as it is to minimize the effects of shading. Mr. Cundiff stated that the applicant needs to propose screening to the Board’s satisfaction. Mr. Cundiff will review the zoning bylaws.
Mr. Cundiff asked for a site distance evaluation for West Street.
Ms. Sharkey made a motion to continue the public hearing for an Application for Site Plan Review for Douglas Renewables, LLC (SPR-181120), 170 West Street to January 8, 2019 at 7:15 PM. Mr. Ballou seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-6.
Ms. Sharkey left the meeting.

1. Chapter 61 Section B-Notice of Intent to Sell: Estate of Alice Chase, Orange Street (5.19) acres. Mr. Greco made a motion to recommend to the Board of Selectmen to not exercise their right of first refusal for the Estate of Alice Chase, Orange Street (5.19) acres. Mr. Zwicker seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-5.
2. 2019 Planning Board Meeting Schedule. Mr. Zwicker made a motion to adopt the 2019 Planning Board Meeting Schedule as presented. Mr. Greco seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-5.
3. Request for Release of Covenant: Stone Gate Estates, Cobblestone Lane, Lots #16, 18, 19 & 20. Mr. Cundiff stated that they have had surety for some time. They are looking at the May Town Meeting for road acceptance. There is material stockpiled on one of the lots and Mr. Cundiff suggested issuing the release, which has been approved to Form by Town Counsel, with the condition that the developer remove the stockpiled materials. These lots have been sold, but no dwellings have been erected.
Ms. Sharkey made a motion to grant the request for the release of funds for the covenant for Stone Gate Estates, Cobblestone Lane, Lots #16, 18, 19 and 20, with the condition that the stockpiled construction debris be removed from lot #16. Mr. Zwicker seconded the motion. Aye-7.
4. Water/Sewer line construction Inspection Services/Subdivisions. Mr. Cundiff stated that a few issues occurred during the water line installations of a recent 40B project. He spoke with Bob Sullivan of the Water/Sewer Dept. and they support having full-time monitoring of the construction standards during installation of water and sewer lines for 40B projects. A discussion was held. It was the consensus of the Board to add this requirement to the boilerplate.
5. Request for Release of Earth Removal Bond: Pyne/Bedoian, One Lackey Dam Road (ER-180619). This item is complete.
6. Pyne Sand & Stone: Request for Release of Bond 436 Northeast Main Street (ER-180312). Mr. Cundiff stated that the release was approved, pending the submittal of an as-built. The as-built was received and excavation exceeded the permit limits. A subsequent letter has been received from MacIntyre saying they do not have an issue with it. The reclamation has been completed. Mr. Zwicker made a motion to release the funds for the bond for Pyne and & Stone, 436 Northeast Main Street (ER-180312). Mr. Mr. Ballou seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-5.
7. Sign Voucher.
8. Request to Sign Covenant/Mylars: Bella Woods Subdivision (3 Lots).
9. Minutes: October 23, 2018
Mr. Greco made a motion to approve the minutes for the October 23, 2018 Planning Board meeting as amended. Mr. Socrat seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-5.

Mr. Cundiff stated that the Central Mass. Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC) is moving forward with having them on the District Local Assistance grant application to fund the $15,000 associated with the Lakeside Residential project.
Mr. Cundiff asked the Board for feedback to give to CMRPC regarding the zoning maps. The Board asked that this item be placed on the next meeting’s agenda.
Mr. Cundiff stated that currently, Douglas has a number of subdivisions that do not meet full construction standards for a conventional subdivision. When excessive waivers are granted, the Town asks that the way be made private with a Homeowners Association responsible for the way’s upkeep. At a recent Town meeting, as a result of complaints on older private ways, a new general bylaw was passed stating that the Town will maintain private ways. Now there are people on more recent private ways with Homeowners Associations saying that the Town is responsible for maintaining the private ways. Mr. Cundiff suggested two solution options: 1. The general bylaw is clarified and 2. Do not grant construction waivers. This item will be placed on a future meeting agenda.

Mr. Zwicker made a motion to adjourn the Planning Board meeting at 10:30 PM. Mr. Socrat seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-5.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Wright
Recording Secretary
Mary Wright
Posts: 609
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:56 pm

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