3/11/2020 - ZBA Meeting

Moderator: Maria Lajoie

3/11/2020 - ZBA Meeting

Postby Maria Lajoie » Tue Mar 10, 2020 7:56 am

Community Meeting Room
7:00 PM


Northwest Main Street
Date of Application: 12/18/2019
Decision Date for Variance: 100 Days of Application (4/27/2020) – Possible Votes

29 Laurel Glades
Date of Application: 12/18/2019
Decision Date for Variance: 100 Days of Application (4/27/2020) – Possible Votes

7:30 PM NorthBrown, LLC – Comprehensive Permit – North Village – Map 117,
Parcel 61. Request by holder of the December 10, 2009 Comprehensive Permit for
Property located on Compass Point Drive, off of North Street and Brown Road, for a
Determination that proposed modifications of the locations and details of buildings and
parking as described in its March 2, 2020 letter to the Douglas Zoning Board of
Appeals are insubstantial modifications under 760 CMR 56.05(11). Vote Expected.

Old/New Business:
1. Proposed Zoning Bylaw Amendment for Non-conforming Lots – Possible Votes
2. Policy/Consultant Invoices – Possible Votes
3. Approve Minutes: 1/8, 2/12 – Possible Votes

Future Agenda Items:
TBD: Zoning Bylaws: Definition of Structures
Upcoming Meeting: 4/8, 5/13

Note: Times are estimates unless denoted as a Hearing.
Items listed are those reasonably anticipated as a topic
48 hours in advance by the Chairman

The Town of Douglas is an equal opportunity Provider and Employer.
Maria Lajoie
Maria Lajoie
Posts: 1463
Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 11:09 am
Location: Community Development Department

Re: 3/11/2020 - ZBA Meeting

Postby Mary Wright » Sat Jul 11, 2020 1:55 pm


A meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) was held on Wednesday, March 11, 2020. Mr. Heney called the meeting to order at 7:01 PM in the Community Meeting Room.

PRESENT: Daniel Heney (Chairman), Michael Fitzpatrick, Pamela Holmes (Vice Chairman), Louis Tusino (Alternate)
ABSENT: John Bombara (Excused), Sean Holland (Excused)
NON-VOTING: Maria Lajoie (Administrative Assistant), Mark Kaferlein (Building Commissioner), William Cundiff (Town Engineer), Atty. Brian Winner (Town Counsel)

Mr. Heney stated that he watched the video of the last meeting and filed Mullin Rule status with the Town Clerk.

7:01 PM PUBLIC HEARING CONTINUED: DERMOT & DIANA COLLINS (2019-13), Northwest Main Street.
Mr. Collins joined the meeting and presented revised plans for his proposed garage, which he plans to use for storage. The upper floor is now shown to be just one, large room.
Mr. Heney questioned whether or not the lot is buildable. There has never been a building on it, therefore is not grandfathered as a pre-existing, non-conforming lot. Mr. Heney described the requirements for a hardship, which are shape, topography and soil conditions. Ms. Holmes is also concerned about the density in the area.
Atty. Winner reminded the Board that on 12/5/2019, the Building Commissioner found that the lot is not grandfathered and that it is merged. The only way it can be built upon is to pursue a variance.
Mr. Collins described his hardship, which is that his father-in-law lives with them and needs a place to park his car.
Mr. Kaferlein explained that the two lots have been held in common since 1964 and are joined. If the lots are one lot, Mr. Collins could have the garage as an accessory structure. There is still a possibility, depending where the property line is to the center of the road, that the lots are two separate lots and are grandfathered. Mr. Collins needs to prove that “the woman” owns the road and the two lots don’t come to the center of the road. Ms. Holmes stated that the assessor’s map shows that someone else owns the “property”, and a woman who attended the last meeting had a deed showing ownership of the road. Mr. Kaferlein only viewed Mr. Collins’ documents and did not see a deed for the road.
Atty. Winner stated that the Board needs to follow the Building Commissioner’s decision because it was not appealed and no evidence has been brought forward to contradict it. That means one can have an accessory structure to the principal use, no living space, if a variance is granted.
The plot plan Mr. Collins submitted stated that no property line survey has been done. Information is missing from the application. Mr. Heney suggested that Mr. Collins get an engineered, stamped plan and show a clear reason for a variance.
Mr. Collins decided to withdraw his application, without prejudice. He will bring a letter to Ms. Lajoie.
Ms. Holmes made a motion to accept the withdrawal, without prejudice, for the application for Dermot and Diana Collins (2019-13), Northwest Main Street. Mr. Fitzpatrick seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-4.

7:22 PM PUBLIC HEARING CONTINUED: KENNETH GOUIN (2019-14), 29 Laurel Glades.
Kristen LaBrie of Andrews Survey and Engineering joined the meeting. It has been determined that a side setback variance is needed. The lot has a narrow 25’ building envelope. They are still going through Conservation, and they are waiting to submit to the Board of Health.
Atty. Winner stated that the applicant is asking for something unorthodox: decommission an existing non-conforming dwelling and reconstruct at a different location. The net does not change. The grandfathering right would be assigned to the new dwelling, meaning the old structure would no longer grandfathered and would be a non-conforming accessory structure.
The applicant needs to submit a letter stating their desire to request relief for the new dwelling and the decommissioned accessory building. Ms. LaBrie left the meeting at 7:30 PM to prepare the letter.
Diane Ackley of 33 Laurel Glades stated that she has no objection to the application.
Ms. LaBrie returned at 8:31 PM, and she presented the letter she prepared on behalf of Kenneth Gouin which states that they are requesting a front, side and rear setback variance for the existing non-conforming structure that will be decommissioned (disconnecting all plumbing) as a dwelling and remain as an accessory structure, as well as for a variance for the new dwelling as presented in the application.
Mr. Fitzpatrick made a motion to approve the application for Kenneth Gouin (2019-14), requesting a variance in a Rural Agricultural (RA) zone district pursuant to Mass General Law Ch 48 Sec 10 and Douglas Zoning Bylaws Sec 9.2 and Sec 4.1.3 Table of Dimensional Requirements for side yard setback of 25’ due to the pre-existing, non-conforming parcel. The required minimum setback for the parcel creates a very narrow buildable area. Relief being sought is to reduce the side yard setback from 25’ to 18.5’ to construct a new two-story dwelling located at 29 Laurel Glades, map 148, parcel 38 with the conditions that the use of the existing dwelling that will be decommissioned is restricted and used as an accessory structure, submittal of a plot plan, and submittal of the letter requesting the variances for both structures prepared by Ms. LaBrie and presented this evening. Ms. Holmes seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-4.

7:32 PM NORTH BROWN, LLC, COMPREHENSIVE PERMIT, North Village-Map 117, Parcel 61.
Atty. Ed Taipale joined the meeting. A measurement was taken from the center line of the road and it was found that units 65, 67 and 68 in phase 2 were 8”-11” over the setback line. Atty. Taipale sent a letter to the Town requesting a minor modification of the comprehensive permit.
Ms. Holmes has seen that many cars parked in the driveways are very close to or hanging over into the street or sidewalk. The average length of a car is 10.5 -18.5’. Atty. Taipale stated that the 20’ was determined for that reason. Ms. Holmes asked for a copy of the condominium documents. Atty. Taipale stated that they are public documents.
Atty. Ilana Quirk joined the meeting and stated that the comprehensive permit project and plan was previously approved. She clarified that the reason they are before the ZBA is because issues were noticed relating to whether or not a few specific units were in conformance with the approved plan. A discussion was held.
Mr. Fitzpatrick stated that in 2018, the building depth was increased by 5’, and he feels that that change affected the front setback line and created this problem. Atty. Winner stated that the ZBA needs to act on the application in front of them, which is whether the March 2, 2020 changes are substantial or insubstantial. Atty. Quirk agreed with Atty. Winner and stated that the proposed change is at a curb, and the Town Engineer noticed a 1’ discrepancy. Mr. Cundiff stated that units 65 and 66 are in question by 1’, units 67 and 68 have porches which extend 4’-5’ into the setback. He said that the applicant stated in one of the two letters that phase 1 had “no issues”. Mr. Cundiff stated that neither the as-builts nor the building permit drawings show porch structures.
Atty. Taipale proposed tapering the sidewalk over to run parallel to the roadway for one unit, which would give additional space to park without infringing to the sidewalk. Mr. Fitzpatrick would prefer eliminating the parking spot and go back to one inside and one outside.
Mark Allen of Allen Engineering joined the meeting and stated that moving forward, they plan to work with the developer more closely to be sure all porches, decks, porticos, landings, etc. are set correctly from the setback line. Mr. Heney asked to require foundation as-builts. Mr. Cundiff requested a layout plan showing the new structures, the setback and the building locations well in advance. Mr. Allen said that could be done with each building application since they don’t know which style of unit will be in each location. Tim Barlow offered to do as-builts for the foundations and for the Occupancy Permits.
Ms. Holmes made a motion under 760 CMR 56.05 (11) that the proposed modification set forth in the applicant North Brown, LLC’s March 2, 2020 modification request are insubstantial in nature within the meaning of 760 CMR 56.07 (4) because there will be no increase in building height, no increase in the number of units, no reduction in size of the site, and no change in the building type from garden apartment to townhouse or high-rise or change in housing tenure (ownership to rental), and to allow a revision to the approved plan for the comprehensive permit as shown on the amended comprehensive permit plan for North Village, sheet 1 of 1, dated March 9, 2020 as prepared by Allen Engineering and Associates and signed and sealed to allow the dimensions of the structures as shown thereon, specifically to allow the setbacks from the accessway to the buildings and structures as shown thereon and to allow the porticos or overhangs shown thereon, and further to require that foundation permits submitted to the Building Department indicate porticos, overhangs, and porches, if any, and provided sidewalk to be relocated to show that the paved area in front of the portico on unit 67 is no less than 16’ long. Mr. Tusino seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-4.
Atty. Winner will write down the motion and have it signed by everyone.

Old/New Business:
1. Proposed Zoning Bylaw Amendment for Non-Conforming Lots-Possible Votes. This amendment is currently not going to Town Meeting. Mr. Cundiff will inform the Planning Board that the ZBA would like to provide input.
Mr. Fitzpatrick watched the Planning Board meeting, and he stated that the reason for the proposed zoning change is to reduce the ZBA case load. He went back 10 years and found that the average number of cases is 1/month. He does not think the ZBA’s caseload warrants a zoning bylaw change. Mr. Fitzpatrick read what the proposed amendment was aiming to achieve.
It was decided to take no action until the Planning Board does.
2. Policy/Consultant Invoices-Possible Votes. Mr. Cundiff stated that historically, the Town has utilized M.G.L. Ch 44 Sec 53G accounts when they utilize outside consultants. As it pertains to ZBA, it is limited to North Village. They get a request from the applicant for an inspection or testing, and Mr. Cundiff coordinates. Mr. Cundiff reviews the invoices and authorizes payment through a 53G account and sends a copy to the applicant. This procedure is done so as not to delay payments to the Town’s consultants.
Ms. Holmes made a motion to rescind the vote from 1/8/20 that states “Mr. Heney made a motion to ask the Town Engineer to create a policy to allow applicants to review bills from 53G accounts from outside consultants before they are paid. Mr. Bombara seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-5.” Mr. Fitzpatrick seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-4.
3. MINUTES: January 8, & February 12, 2020.
Approval of the January 8 & February 12, 2020 ZBA meeting minutes was deferred to the next meeting.

Mr. Fitzpatrick made a motion at 9:03 PM to adjourn the ZBA meeting. Ms. Holmes seconded the motion. Vote: Aye-4.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Wright
Recording Secretary
Mary Wright
Posts: 601
Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 8:56 pm

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