12/11/2007 - Meeting Minutes

12/11/2007 - Meeting Minutes

Postby Maria Lajoie » Tue Jan 22, 2008 10:45 am

The meeting of the Planning Board was called to order at 7:02 PM.

Richard Vanden Berg (Chairman), Mark Mungeam, Linda Brown, Ernst Marks, Eben Chesebrough, David St. George, Stephen Zisk (Planning/Conservation Agent), William Cundiff (Town Engineer), Lisa Lannon (Recording Secretary).
Absent: Roy Swenson.

Mr. Stephen Wallace, Principal Planner and Suzanne LePage, Regional Services Manager from Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC) were present to update the Board on their progress. Mr. Wallace indicated that now that the public has given input on what they would like to have, he would like to get some input from this Board on what they would expect to get out of the report. Some discussion held.
Mr. Wallace indicated that it would be his suggestion that some cosmetic upgrades be recommended that the Town could tackle right away. He would then take it further on the zoning side with an expanded list of commercial uses for the downtown to be considered as either site plan standards or guidelines. It was noted that some of the work such as the sidewalks on Main Street, has been completed. It was also noted that there could be tighter site plan standards for people to keep up landscaping such as maintaining their sidewalks. It was agreed that the recommendations should be guidelines rather than standards.
The balance was between traffic and the vibrancy of the Town was questioned. Ms. LePage noted towns struggle with this issue and the nature of traffic needs to be addressed, i.e. speed, unsafe pedestrians crossing and trucks. The two things that are the biggest concerns in Douglas are trucks and parking. Regarding the truck issue, there is not a lot that can be done since it is a State highway.
It was felt a list of what could be done in the short term would be helpful. Ranking the projects with feasibility and whether it could be done in-house and then range of costs and sources of funds would also be helpful. It was also suggested to note those projects that would involve zoning. It was noted that the community preferences versus zoning guidelines should be reviewed. Mr. Wallace would like to put together an outline for this final study and have this Board review it.

The ANR Plan for Ronald Forget for 505 Northwest Main Street was reviewed. Some discussion held. Mr. Marks made a motion to endorse the ANR Plan for 505 Northwest Main Street. Motion seconded by Mr. Chesebrough. Unanimously voted.

Mr. Vanden Berg noted that in accordance with the provision of M.G.L. Chapter 40A, Section 11 and the Town of Douglas Personal Wireless Service Facilities Bylaw, Section 6.5 of the Douglas Zoning Bylaws, the Planning Board is now holding a Public Hearing on the Application of Northeast Wireless Services, LLC and Omnipoint Communications for a proposed wireless services facility on the property owned by Henry G. and Marlene J. Bosma. The location of the proposed facility is at 436-440 Northeast Main Street, Douglas MA, Assessors Map 141, Lot 67. The purpose of the Public Hearing is to construct a Wireless Communications Facility consisting of a one hundred thirty foot monopole and associated ground based communications equipment. A copy of the application has been available for inspection at the Community Development Department Office in the Douglas Municipal Center, 29 Depot Street, Douglas MA, between the hours of 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM and 1:30 PM to 4:00 PM Monday through Thursday.
Mr. Cundiff reviewed that this was a submittal made a couple of months ago that the Planning Board had denied. He noted that a complaint was filed with Worcester Superior Court. Town Counsel has worked with us and agreed with the applicant to revisit the application. Mr. Wilson is here for Northeast Wireless and is providing a few additional items that were outstanding from the original submittal.
Mr. Wilson noted that the market is for Tmobile and they are trying to fill a significant gap in coverage in East Douglas. He noted that they are proposing a 130-foot tower to be located on the Bosma’s property. Because of the property configuration, topography, and where they are trying to provide coverage it will be located right on the zoning boundary. Because a setback of 300 feet from any property is required, they are requesting a variance from the Board. Detail has been added at the request of the Board on where the vegetative buffer will be and how the site will be screened. He noted the middle of the property was not available to lease. The proposed tower will have equipment to be fenced in a compound at the base and there will be plantings for buffer. He indicated that they are requesting this Board’s approval of the special permit of the tower. The only waiver is for the 300 foot set back.
Mr. Mungeam questioned the correctness of the survey regarding the setback from Northeast Main and the screening of Northeast Main. Mr. Wilson noted the screening is already in place. Mr. Vanden Berg noted a letter from Huntley Associates certifying the accuracy of the survey. Mr. Mungeam requested that the planting of white pines along Northeast Main Street be added as a condition. Mr. Wilson indicated that this could be written in as a condition. Mr. St. George questioned the height of the trees that are there. Mr. Wilson indicated they were approximately 30 to 40 feet. Mr. St. George questioned the grade of the land where the tower will be. Mr. Wilson noted that the grade is a 10-foot positive elevation. Therefore, it is approximated to be 140 feet. Some discussion held.
A member of the community raised the concern of the possibility of health issues being incurred by this tower and questioned if a name of a contact could be provided to address issues should something arise down the road. It was suggested that the Board request as a condition, notice of assignment or sale. Another member of the community felt that more of a buffer is needed.
Further discussion held regarding the addition of antennas at a future date. It was suggested that at that time a site plan review be required or a submission of a power density study. Some discussion held. It was questioned if police and fire would have access. Mr. Wilson noted that they would not reserve space but could accommodate upon request, space on the tower for public safety. Ms. Brown suggested that that be made a condition.
It was noted that the approval of the special permit and waiver of the 300 foot setback would include the following conditions: additional vegetative buffer, accommodations for public safety on the tower, power density studies annually, and notice of assignment of sale.
A community member questioned if any requirements would be put in the conditions for future antennas. It was noted that they would certify annually that the antennas meet the FCC guidelines for power density. Mr. Cundiff indicated that if an additional antenna is put on the pole a special permit might be needed if the appearance changes. Discussion held regarding the power density calculations.
Mr. Chesebrough made a motion to close the Public Hearing. Mr. St. George seconded the motion. Unanimously voted. Mr. Vanden Berg noted that the wording of the conditions and special permit would be reviewed at the next meeting. Mr. Cundiff will send members copies of the conditions for that meeting.

The ANR Plan submitted by Judy L. Rennell for Birch Street was reviewed. Mr. Marks made a motion to endorse the ANR Plan for Birch Street. Motion seconded by Mr. Chesebrough. Vote Unanimous.

Mr. Yerka from Yerka Engineering reviewed the plan for a definitive subdivision entitled “Lakewood Estates” which is 150 acres and 18 lots. Mr. Yerka reviewed the process of catching, retaining and the drainage of water from this site. He noted that the proposal is a paved road with sub drainage in the road with manholes and sub catch basin drainage. The basin ponds are designed for water quality and to detain water at peak rates for drainage. Much discussion ensued.
Attorney John Splain (representing Mr. Mike Nelson of Shore Road) noted that his client’s property runs between the two 12 inch pipes that run under Shore Road. His client reports that there are wetlands in the area of lot 6 through lot 9 and when there is rain the water washes over the road and through his property. He indicated that the road has to be built up each year by the Town. His position is that the two 12 inch pipes currently do not handle that flow. He would like to see one large 36-inch pipe on the south side of the property. In addition, the northern 12-inch pipe is very close to his client’s well, which presents additional problems of contamination. His client has retained the services of an engineer and it is his recommendation that between Shore Road and the old railroad right of way on the east side there be a series of three culverts to channel the water into the pipes. Mr. Yerka indicated that the 12-inch culverts do exist.
This plan reduces the amount of water that comes out of this site. He indicated that through most storms these pipes would not be full. The design of the plan allows for the water quality to be as clean or cleaner than the water that runs down now. He noted, however, that as far as a 36-inch pipe that could be looked at. Mr. Marks indicated that the road gets gravel put down and smoothed out for potholes but has never had to be rebuilt.
It was noted that this plan shows that the water flow is lessened. If there is a present problem the homeowner should be responsible to fix it. Attorney Splain reiterated that the issues of his client. It was questioned if nothing was done with the property would Mr. Nelson want to have only one 36 inch pipe on his property. Attorney Splain again indicated that Mr. Nelson’s concern is that currently those pipes do not handle the flow that comes off the property. He would like to see the northern pipe eliminated because of the potential contaminates that could be in the water due to the retention of water in a wet pond. Charles Michaud, Engineer retained by Mr. Nelson, questioned the run off calculations. Mr. Yerka explained the calculations and what was included. Mr. Cundiff questioned if Mr. Nelson has an easement on his property for the discharge of that water. Mr. Nelson did not know.
Mr. Speroni indicated the northern most pond has a 30 inch pipe exiting which appears to be approximately 200 feet away from a 12 in culvert in the property located next to his property (113 Shore Road). He noted that culvert is fractured. He questioned if that would be a reduced flow also. Mr. Yerka indicated it would be. He further explained how the water comes out of the basin.
Another community member noted that Birch Hill Road becomes a river in a storm. He is concerned about the amounts of water that would be incurred with these houses and questioned the ability of the culvert to handle it. Mr. Yerka indicated that is what the basin is for. As for the run off from the rooftops, each lot has an area to collect the water from the roof drains. He noted that 4 inches of rain would be controlled and metered out where it is not now. The situation will be an improvement from what is there at this point.
Mr. Mark Cohen from the Atlantic States Rural Water Association noted that Wallum Lake is not just a pristine lake but is also a public drinking supply and should be treated as such. He questioned if oil separators are being put into the catch basins. Mr. Yerka indicated hoods would be put in and that is required. Mr. Cohen questioned how these would be maintained in perpetuity. Mr. Yerka indicated that either the Town could take it over or an Association of the property owners would. Mr. Cohen recommended that it be in the special permit that if the Homeowners Association takes it over they must maintain it.
Mr. Nelson again noted his major concern with his well and the flow of water so close to it. Mr. Yerka noted that between the basin and the discharge through the wetland it is his belief the quality will be better. Mr. Dixon, President of the Wallum Lake Beach Association noted that over the years Shore Road has been built up so that now it is higher than the retaining wall, for the last ten years, they have paid $600 every spring to fill a trench to deter the water.
Mr. Vanden Berg noted that currently the water issues that the community is dealing with now are strictly that of nature, what the applicant is claiming is that his project will lessen what nature is doing. If this development were never built these water problems would still be there.
Mr. Chesebrough questioned how Mr. Dixon feels with regard to concerns of contamination and a larger pipe being suggested next to the bathing area. Mr. Dixon agreed that the flow through woods cleans the water prior to getting to that area.
Mr. Marks noted the responsibility of this Board is to look at the storm water management design and would never allow a project that did not meet the appropriate calculations to handle this water. He noted that the water is not going to come down the road all at once, that the purpose of the catch basins and ponds is to not increase the flow of water that you have now. The Town Engineer looks at these designs and the Board meets several times to review it. It was questioned what would happen if 10 years from now this design is not working who is responsible to maintain it. Mr. Marks indicated that either the Homeowners Association would be responsible or, if it meets all the specifications to become a Town road, then the Town would be responsible. It was questioned who presently maintains storm drains in the Town of Douglas. Mr. Marks indicated if they were part of the infrastructure of the Town of Douglas then the Town would maintain it. He noted that the retention basin design has been around for about 10 or 15 years and all the subdivisions that have been built them to date, have not had any problems as of yet.
A motion was made to continue the public hearing to February 12 at 7:30 by Mr. Marks. Seconded by Ms. Brown. Unanimously voted.

9:46 PM ZBA
Zoning Board applications were reviewed. Mr. Chesebrough presented an application for Ronald Wence on 53 Bigelow Road to demolish a 6 by 4 foot non-conforming structure and replace it with a 10 by 8 foot. The Board had no objection with this. Mr. Marks presented an application to construct a 14 by 10 foot addition to an existing structure on property located in RA district. The structure will be 30 feet off the street instead of the required 50 feet. The Board had no objection as long as the abutters have no problem with it.

Mr. Cundiff noted that Fairway View Estates and Hilltop Estates have petitioned the Selectmen for road acceptance. He is going through the packets that they have submitted and he would like to get the Board’s approval to use Town Counsel for any legal documents as they move forward. It was the consensus of the Board to approve this.
Mr. Cundiff noted that the bond on Nature View Estates expires in January for the binder. Nature View has a 2000-foot cul-de-sac that was deficient. The Board required that a bond be posted for the road until improvements were made. The bond was posted the improvements were completed. Some discussion was held and it was the consensus of the Board was to release the bond.
It was agreed that rules and regulations be put on the agenda for the January 15 meeting.

Mr. Cundiff discussed a letter from Attorney Lane requested that the bond on Smith Hill Estates be reduced to $6,000. He noted that currently there is between $69,612.43 and $71,509.09 in the account. The request is that the Board release all but $6,000 and then they will prepare the as built plan. He noted his concern is that if the as built plan shows problems with the construction, then we will not have the surety for improvements. This request is coming as part of an ongoing discussion with a court case settlement. He noted that he spoke to Mr. Guzinski regarding this and they agreed they would both be comfortable with releasing half of the surety at this time. The other half can be released after they see the as built plan and are sure there will not be problems. He noted the $35,000 would cover their obligations. Some discussion held with Attorney Lane. Mr. Chesebrough made a motion that the Board reduces the bond for Smith Hill Estates by releasing 75 percent and retaining 25 percent. Mr. Marks seconded the motion. Voted as follows: Aye- 4, Nay-1, (Mr. Mungeam left early). Motion carried.

Mr. Cundiff noted that the Building Facility and Construction Committee has a building needs survey online. He encouraged Board members to go online and take the survey.

A motion was made by Ms. Brown to adjourn the meeting. Seconded by Mr. St. George and unanimously voted. Meeting adjourned at 10:17.

Respectfully submitted,

Lisa Lannon
Recording Secretary
Maria Lajoie
Maria Lajoie
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Joined: Thu May 26, 2005 11:09 am
Location: Community Development Department

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