Page 1 of 1

BOS - December 29, 2003 - Chapter 61A Workshop

PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:40 am
by Suzanne Kane
Board of Selectmen
Special Meeting Minutes
Chapter 61A
December 29, 2003
Approved April 6, 2004


1. Call to Order:

Madame Chairman Shirley Mosczynski called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm. In attendance: Paula Brouillette, Rich Preston, Ron Forget, Edward Therrien, and Administrative Assistant Suzanne Kane.

Other Staff and citizens: Town Counsel Deborah Eliason, Town Accountant Rich Mathieu, Open Space Chair Lisa Mosczynski, Conservation Commissioner Steve Zisk, Town Engineer William Cundiff, Assessor Ida Ouillette, Finance Committee Chair Pamela Holmes, Planning Board member Ernie Marks, Conservation Committee and Planning Board member Linda Brown, Capital Plan Chair Mitch Cohen, Tree Warden and Conservation member Leon Mosczynski, Planning Board member Eben Cheseborough, Mark Mungeam, and Finance Committee William Krauss and other citizens.

Handed out at the meeting: an email to Suzanne Kane, from Jerome Jussaume, dated December, 22, 2003, re: Town Meeting; a memo to Town Treasurer Sharon Brotherton, dated December 29, 2003, re: Proposed Land Acquisition Bonds; a fax to Leonard Kopelman, from Suzanne Kane, dated December 17, 2003, re: Chapter 61 – Purchase; an email to Suzanne Kane, from Deborah Eliason, dated December 18, 2003, re: Chamberlain Unitrust Chapter 61 Land; an email to Suzanne Kane, from Deborah Eliason, dated December 29, 2003, re: Additional Questions – Chapter 61; Handed out by Bill Cundiff: Frontage Lot Scenario Spreadsheet, dated December 29, 2003; Break Even Analysis Spreadsheet, dated December 29, 2003; Approximate Road Development Cost Spreadsheet, dated December 29, 2003; Concept Plans – For Discussion Only, Chamberlain Property, dated December 23, 2003. Town Engineer Bill Cundiff, Conservation Agent Steve Zisk, and Open Space Committee Chair Lisa Mosczynski came before the Board. Lisa Mosczynski stated the Chamberlain land consists of 103 acres with 100’ of frontage on the left side of North West Main Street. She stated the historical aspect of the property is that it is the last access to the Douglas Woods. Steve Zisk estimated the Town could get approximately $125,000 for each lot. The maximum build out is 30 to 40 lots. Steve Zisk showed the Selectmen three different scenario’s of build out. Bill Cundiff stated that his handouts were for discussion only; they are not real assessments. There was discussion about the endangered species area which runs through the land. Bill Cundiff stated that along with the 5 frontage lots they could get an additional 12 to 15 lots but there would be additional road costs. Ron Forget stated he wants it shown that there is a guarantee that there will be access to the industrial land if it’s purchased. Bill Cundiff stated there is no guarantee; there are other abutters they would have to deal with. Paula Brouillette asked what other access there is from North West Main to the Industrial Park. Bill Cundiff stated that access would get them the furthest. Paula Brouillette asked if this is the only opportunity. Steve Zisk answered yes. Paula Brouillette asked if the 5 lots have any restraints in regards to wetlands. Steve Zisk stated that lot 5 is the only one that would have constraints. Rich Preston thanked everyone for the work they had done. Concerning a 15 lot subdivision, the lots could go for $135,000, how could this land be used to satisfy the Towns 40B obligation. Bill Cundiff stated it helps. William Krauss asked about the costs and Bill Cundiff’s estimates. He asked if the road he planned would satisfy industrial road codes. Bill Cundiff stated they didn’t get that detailed, they tried using construction figures. Ernie Marks asked if there is a difference in use for residential roads versus industrial roads in the Bylaws. Bill Cundiff explained that if it’s an un-accepted way, then there is an incompatible issue of use. Only when it is accepted as a Public Road can it be used as an industrial road. Bill Cundiff suggested talking to Kopelman and Paige attorney Joel Bard, he has the best understanding of use. Mark Mungeam stated he is in favor of purchasing the land; he is however confused by the access road. He asked why put an industrial road through a residential area. Bill Cundiff reported that the Town has applied for a PWED Grant for a road off Cliff Street; they are working at getting to the industrial site from both ends. Bill Cundiff pointed out that this is only one concept and is not what they are pushing, they were tasked with alternatives and that is what they are trying to do. Mitch Cohen asked what the status is of the land between the 61 Land and the Douglas Woods. Steve Zisk reported that land is owned by Mr. Emerson Smith. He stated that it could be 61 Land and the Town could purchase it if Mr. Smith were to take it out. Mitch Cohen stated that he is not in the belief that the Town be in the residential development business, he is in favor of selling the 5 frontage lots. Lisa Mosczynski stated the Right of First Refusal is on a timeline and the Board needs to act now. Pam Holmes asked what the assessment costs of the lots would be with open space. Bill Cundiff stated open space would make the lots more desirable and valuable. Ida Ouillette agreed, she stated the lots on North West Main Street have always sold higher then the rest of Town. Ernie Marks reported the Planning Board wants the Town to make money, not a green way or conservation area. Linda Brown disagreed. William Krauss stated there is no need to have more open space; Douglas has the highest percentage of acreage owned by the State. Ron Forget stated that taking some of Mr. Smiths land for access to the industrial area would land lock him. He asked about retreat lots, saying Sutton is doing it. Bill Cundiff stated the Towns zoning currently allows retreat lots. He stated his scenarios can not assume they can get variances. Shirley Mosczynski stated that having the land off taxes is saving the Town, no school costs, no fire cost, and no highway costs. Leon Mosczynski recounted the history of the Blanchard property that the Town did not purchase; the State a developer purchased the land and the Town purchased some of the land it for big money. Town Counsel Deborah Eliason explained that in respect to the Chapter 61 land, the Town does not have a right to extend the agreement; they are allowed to match the offer as outlined in the purchase and sales. Deborah Eliason explained the process would be for the Board to exercise their right by sending an Exercise Notice and registering it with the Worcester Registry of Deeds and have funding in place. Deborah Eliason cautioned the Board of Selectmen could exercise their right of first refusal and it could be challenged, but she has not seen this. She stated the Town should have a Town Meeting prior to signing an Exercise Notice. Discussion on memo from Sharon Brotherton. Ron Forget asked about the Right of Way to the Beagle Club and would they have to comply with the Purchase and Sales on that item. Deborah Eliason reported they would have to comply with that one item, but not the rest of the Purchase and Sales. Rich Preston asked about the Article for the Warrant; how would it be written. Deborah Eliason will write the article. Pam Holmes asked if there has been any title work done. Deborah Eliason stated she has not done any and they wouldn’t do one unless they were going to buy the land. She stated they were protected under the Purchase and Sales. Eben Cheseborough stated that if the Town buys the Land the Roll Back taxes will not be collected. William Krauss asked about endangered species and where are they. Steve Zisk reported that the State doesn’t tell you until you go to use the land. Rich Preston stated he agrees with Deborah Eliason; they need to work on the language of the Warrant Article. Deborah Eliason suggested the article should include the vote to purchase and vote to appropriate, not have separate votes. Deborah Eliason suggested the Board meet again on January 5th. Paula Brouillette stated she thinks it’s an opportunity on different levels, Boards have recommended it. She stated from a financial standpoint it’s the best situation they are going to have; low risk, she would vote in favor of moving forward. Ron Forget stated there are a lot of unknowns; perk tests, etc., he does not feel it’s as easy as Paula Brouillette thinks. Paula Brouillette agrees that there are risks. Rich Preston stated they need to look at the big picture, look further down the road, there is going to be a need for parks, recreation areas, and the possibility for district schools, etc.. He is very supportive of exercising their option. Edward Therrien stated they should have a Town Meeting and let the people decide. Ron Forget stated he is in favor of letting the people decide. Shirley Mosczynski stated she is in favor of a Town Meeting also. Deborah Eliason was asked to write the Warrant Article. Concensus of the Board to recess at 8:50 pm while Deborah Eliason wrote the Warrant Article. Board returned at 9:05 pm. Deborah Eliason read the proposed Warrant Article. Ron Forget asked where the $125,000 is, shouldn’t it be included in the Article. Deborah Eliason explained not in the Warrant, it will have to be in the Motion. Lisa Mosczynski asked about a 21E - Massachusetts Oil and Hazardous Material Release Prevention and Response Act. Deborah Eliason stated they always suggest Towns look at the history of property. Rich Preston made a motion to hold a Special Town Meeting January 14, 2004 at 7:00 pm, at the New High School Auditorium. Paula Brouillette seconded the motion. All – aye. Rich Preston made a motion to open the Warrant for the Special Town Meeting, January 14, 2004. Paula Brouillette seconded the motion. All – aye. Rich Preston made a motion to insert the Chamberlain, Chapter 61 Article as prepared by Town Counsel into the Warrant for Special Town Meeting, January 14, 2004. Paula Brouillette seconded the motion. All – aye. Rich Preston made a motion to close the Warrant for the Special Town Meeting, January 14, 2004. Paula Brouillette seconded the motion. All – aye.

2. Adjournment:
Ron Forget made a motion to adjourn at 9:30 pm. Edward Therrien seconded the motion. All – aye.


Respectfully submitted;



Suzanne Kane
Administrative Assistant